Unfortunately, most of the properties on the list for the 2019 Barton County tax sale are inhabited, creating a painful dilemma for the County Treasure’s Office, County Treasurer Jim Jordan told county commissioners Monday morning.
“You never want to displace someone from their homes,” he said, giving an update on the sale set for 10 a.m. Oct. 22 at the courthouse. But, the taxes need to be collected nonetheless.
The county recently took judgment on the parcels remaining on the 2019 sale. Owners are able to redeem parcels until noon, Monday, Oct. 21.
As of Monday morning, 84 parcels remained with a total of over $415,000 in back taxes owed, Jordan said. There were 227 originally listed, and he anticipates the number will dwindle to around 50 come sale time, which is about the same as last year.
“They have options,” Jordan said of those behind in their taxes. A property winds up on the sale list if there are three years’ worth of taxes owed, and the entire amount must be paid for it to be redeemed.
To redeem a property, the owner needs to come to the Treasurer’s Office and pay the tax in full plus the $186 court cost. After that, the property will be removed from the tax sale.
“We’re to help, not take their homes away,” he said. These property owners can make payment arrangements and have up to two years to have the total paid off in full.
However, the people on this list didn’t wind up there overnight. There have been multiple attempts over the years to work with them.
But, there are also responsibilities as a property owner, taxes being among them. If someone defaults on the payment arrangement, the entire amount comes due.
“We have bent over backwards,” he said. “We have done everything in our power.”
County Counselor Patrick Hoffman said there is no state statute that requires offering payment plans. “He is going above and beyond what is required.”
“It shows the county has heart,” commission Chairwoman Jennifer Schartz said. “We don’t want to boot people out of their homes.”
Commissioner Jim Daily commended Jordan for his efforts, including his office’s willingness to help. “People really need to take advantage of it.”
Persons with a financial interest in remaining parcels are urged to contact Jordan’s office by calling 620-793-1831.
Barton County Commission meeting at a glance
Here is a quick look at what the Barton County Commission did Monday morning:
• Heard County Appraiser Barb Esfeld report on the 2018 Real Estate Appraisal/Sales Ratio Study. She also reported on the International Association of Assessing Officers conference held Sept. 8-11 in Niagara Falls, Ontario, Canada, and continuing education.
• Heard a tax sale update from County Treasurer Jim Jordan.
The County recently took judgment on the parcels remaining on the 2019 Tax Sale. Owners are able to redeem parcels until noon, Monday, Oct. 21. The sale will be held in the Courthouse at 10 a.m., Tuesday, Oct. 22. At this time, 84 parcels remain.
• Approved expanding the 20th Judicial District Juvenile Services All Stars Core Training.
All Stars is a school-based intervention program designed to reduce adolescents’ engagement in risk behaviors such as substance use, violence and sexual activity, Juvenile Services Director Marissa Woodmansee said. Juvenile Services currently provides the program to USD 428 sixth grades and the high school’s Jobs for America’s Graduates program.
Having paid a $750 deposit, Juvenile Services requested that the commission authorize a $3,000 expenditure to pay the balance of the All Stars Core Training. This was approved and the training can be expanded into Hoisington USD 431.
• Approved the 20th Judicial District Juvenile Services Interlocal Cooperation Agreement.
Juvenile Services requested approval agreement and it will now be submitted to the Kansas Attorney General’s Office. The Kansas Department of Corrections, which oversees Juvenile Services, requires the formal agreement to assure that all counties of the 20th Judicial District Juvenile Services have the shared understanding of Barton County being the administrative county, Woodmansee said. Ellsworth, Rice, Russell and Stafford counties have each approved the agreement.