Board mulls drainage-district taxesPublished 1:02am Wednesday, March 27, 2013
By MIKE VOSS
Washington Daily News
Beaufort County is looking to improve its collections of drainage-district taxes because many people are not paying them.
The Beaufort County Board of Commissioners, during its March 11 meeting, made it clear it the drainage districts are responsible for going after any delinquent drainage-district taxes and pay any fees associated with collecting delinquent taxes.
The drainage districts approached the county about it going after late drainage-district taxes.
“The reason that these people wanted us to do this — they came in, they were very upfront — they’re not collecting. People refuse to pay. They are not invoking the law to get their money,” Commissioner Hood Richardson said. “What it comes down to is they want us to that burden on for them. I don’t think we should take general revenue — ad valorem taxes — that are collected from some to fund county government and use it to collect fees for drainage districts. I don’t think we can do that. … I don’t want my tax money to go to collect somebody’s drainage taxes that they won’t take somebody to court to collect.”
Richardson said the county needs an ordinance that covers the situation.
“I don’t want this in the form of a gentlemen’s agreed because I’ve found that those do not work with this board. I want an ordinance that’s enforceable. … The only thing that I want is the ordinance that specifies the procedure on foreclosure,” Richardson said.
Tax Assessor Bobby Parker weighed in on the matter. Parker said it’s his understanding there is no time limit when it comes to collecting delinquent drainage-district taxes.
The board asked County Attorney Billy Mayo to research the issue and develop a draft ordinance for the board to review and possibly approve.
In a related matter, the board approved a contract with Farragut systems to provide the tax office with software for a new property-tax system. The contract calls for the county to pay a one-time $300,000 implementation fee and an annual service fee of $55,000.