Thousands of people who own property in Barton County received a surprise in the mail recently after the Barton County Treasurer’s Office mailed out tax warrants to those who owe back taxes.
The warrants went to 3,644 individuals who have outstanding taxes on personal property, such as boats and RVs, and on oil/gas properties, County Treasurer Jim Jordan said. They represent $450,000.00 in delinquent taxes for the years of 2017, 2016 and 2015.
“These are filed to protect the county’s interests,” Jordan said.
Allowed for by state law, all delinquent debt is subject to having a tax warrant filed, according to information from the Kansas Department of Revenue. A tax warrant acts as a lien against real property one owns in the county in which it is filed, and against their personal property.
The warrant is filed with the clerk of district court and is a public record of the amount owed, the KDOR notes. The state also utilizes warrants to collect taxes owed to Topeka, including income taxes.
But, “these are not arrest warrants,” Jordan said. Instead, stops are placed on license renewals through the State of Kansas. This means tags can’t be renewed and the property in question can’t be sold or transferred with out the back taxes being paid.
“These are supposed to be done every year,” Jordan said. But they haven’t been done for the past few years.
There have been a lot of calls from taxpayers to the Sheriff’s Office, the County Appraiser’s Office and the Treasurer’s Office, he said.
“People are getting these and saying ‘what in the heck is going on,’” he said. “It means you haven’t paid your taxes.”
Payments can mailed to Jordan’s office or can be hand delivered. Once the taxes are paid, the warrant will be removed.
“It was quite and eye-opening experience for me,” Jordan said of the large number of delinquent tax payments.
Also the property taxes, personnel property tax and oil taxes are all on line and anyone can search to see who owes back taxes, Jordan said. There is a link on the front page of the county website at bartoncounty.org.
There is also a statewide online list at kdor.ks.gov/Apps/Misc/Miscellaneous/WarrantsOnWebDefault.
The Treasurer’s Office is located in Room 208 at the Barton County Courthouse, 1400 Main in Great Bend. It can be reached at 620-793-1831.