JONESBORO, AR (KAIT) - In just a few weeks time, Craighead County collected more than $130,000 in delinquent taxes. The Tax Collector's office plans to make some changes to keep the ball rolling.
In December, Tax Collector Marsha Phillips told the Quorum Court there were a number of Jonesboro businesses not paying taxes on personal property.
"When they heard it, they started coming in and paying," Phillips said.
Phillips said her office started calling a number of the businesses who had delinquent taxes from years 2008 to 2014.
In December, there were roughly $750,000 in delinquent taxes from those years. That number is now down to just under $612,000.
Phillips said the number is a small portion of the amount of money they were successful in collecting.
"We collected, this year, $60.3 million in business, personal and real estate," Phillips said.
As for how to collect the rest of that money though, Phillips and Deputy Prosecutor Grant DeProw discussed their options.
Phillips stated that some counties take additional steps after calling businesses to collect taxes.
"The second step is attorney letters to the business. The third step would be a certificate of indebtedness," Phillips said.
When discussions on writs of execution came up, DeProw explained the problem with issuing them.
"Craighead County has no storage facility to hold large quantities of personal property seized from a large body of debtors. Even if it did, the county would go to a considerable expense insuring that property," DeProw said.
DeProw said another problem comes down to financing.
"The problem with business property as opposed to my vehicle or your microwave oven, more often than not, business property is financed," DeProw said. "It's not quite as simple as just saying, I'm going to go get some property, I'm going to take it and sell it. There's all kinds of legal pitfalls."
Phillips said she didn't know if her office would be successful in collecting the rest of the delinquent business taxes but they would continue to try and track down the responsible parties to do so.
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