This sounds simple, right? Collect the taxes that we are owed but unpaid. Well, for our present political leaders it’s not quite that simple.
While you are paying your taxes, plenty of others are not. Currently, almost $400,000,000.00 is unpaid in property taxes alone. And these are just property taxes! All you have to do to collect is have the property sold at a Sheriff’s Sale. Seriously, do you think that YOUR house would not be sold if you didn’t pay your taxes? Some properties have not had taxes paid on them in decades. By letting the problem fester the city makes it less likely that the full value of the taxes will ever be recovered.
When taxes are unpaid the properties are normally not kept up, causing the quality of life in the neighborhood to go down along with property values. There’s a difference between someone who has a short-term financial problem and those whose difficulties are more persistent. The city cannot in effect subsidize living expenses by forgoing tax collection.
Nobody wants to see someone lose their house. That being said, the city can’t treat some property owners differently than others. City Council has even introduced legislation in which the law would be different in different neighborhoods. This is lunacy. If they are concerned with people not being able to make their tax payments, the only real solution is to lower the taxes.