JONESBORO, AR (KAIT) - The Commissioner of State Lands is traveling from county to county to return tax dollars to communities.
Commissioner of State Lands John Thurston stopped in Jonesboro at the Craighead County Courthouse on Thursday.
"We're presenting a check today that actually represents last year's turnback money," Thurston said. "This is money that was collected over 2016 from excess proceeds, taxes collected in fees on tax delinquent property. These tax dollars really hit home for Craighead County. 80% of those tax dollars go to public schools. So, the public schools are the ones who feel the impact of these parcels being delinquent."
Thurston delivered a check to Craighead County officials for $589,034.
"The public schools," Thurston said. "Are the ones who feel that impact the most. So, these tax dollar, they're not going to Washington. They're not staying down in Little Rock. These dollars affect your community directly."
The Commissioner of State Lands Office has returned over $18 million to counties across Arkansas.
Craighead County Judge Ed Hill said he was thrilled to much-needed funds return to the area.
"It's very exciting," Hill said. "I think some of it will go towards education. We appreciate John Thurston, our Land Commissioner, coming down and presenting us this check. We always look forward to seeing them. They do a great job for us down in Little Rock. Look forward to seeing them again next year!"
Thurston said they'll be back before you know it.
"We're actually going to be back in Jonesboro," Thurston said. "We'll be here on April 19th at 10am at the Craighead County Annex Building. We'll be holding tax delinquent land sales. And these properties have been delinquent for four and a half years before they go to auction. They're delinquent at the county for two years. Then the collector of the county certifies that parcel and sends it to us where we, for another two years, try to collect the taxes. We're sending out regular mail, certified mail, we're doing title work. We're contacting all interested parties trying to collect the taxes. But if we fail to do so, then it goes to public auction. It's kind of the last resort to get those parcels back on the tax row."
Registration for the public auction will begin at 9:30 a.m.
Delinquent property owners can call their office at (501) 324-9422 to request a petition to redeem.
You can also look up the delinquent parcel on their website.
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