Sometimes it’s fun to see your name in the newspaper, other times not at all, such as the rapidly approaching occasion when the County plans to make public a list of citizens with delinquent tax bills.
Staff members at the office of Caroline County Treasurer Elizabeth Beale Curran are currently organizing names of those they consider the top 500 who are behind in meeting their obligations.
“We hope to have the preliminary list ready for the first Board of Supervisors meeting in July,” Curran said. “The names should be in the paper by mid-July.”
Not everyone who owes taxes will be on the list.
“Names will be eliminated if a person has arranged a payment plan, or if they are in bankruptcy,” Curran said. “We will also remove the names of anyone deceased.”
However, moving out of state does not exempt one from the taxes they owed while living in Virginia.
“Collecting from anyone out of state is hard,” Curran said.
And that is one of the reasons that the collection agency TACS (Taxing Authority Consulting Service) will be taking over significant delinquent accounts. The company tacks on a 20-percent collection charge, so Caroline County will get full payment of the amount owed.
There are also other methods of collecting delinquent accounts.
“Personal property tax can be removed from state income tax refunds,” Curran said. “And DMV will not issue a license renewal if personal property tax is owed.”
Up to 100 percent of a person’s net wages could possibly be taken.
“We will work with people and we encourage them to work out a payment plan before it gets to a collection action, because once the collection action has been taken, I have fewer options for a payment plan,” Curran said. “So far in 2016 we have worked out payment arrangements for 126 new taxpayers who were unable to pay all of their taxes when they were due.”