Paying property taxes has something in common with baseball.
If a property owner fails to pay the tax for one year, that’s strike one. Three years, and the county can put it in a tax sale.
Even after “strike three,” however, property owners still have a chance to pay. But by then their time is running out.
Many years ago, Barton County pretty much ignored delinquent property taxes and numerous lots were in arrears. Then the County Treasurer started holding annual tax sales, and people had to pay up or see their property go to the highest bidder. The sale brought in a little money, but the real benefit was that many people got on the ball and paid what they owed.
In fact, only two properties were on the auction block this past week when Sheriff Brian Bellendir conducted the annual sale.
If a property sells, that’s good news, because it’s back on the tax rolls. If the taxes are paid and there’s nothing left to sell, that is also good news.