Shelby County to hold first property tax sale of the year
Jan 05, 2013 (The Commercial Appeal - McClatchy-Tribune Information Services via COMTEX) --
More than 500 properties will be up for sale on Wednesday when the Shelby County Trustee holds the first real estate property-tax sale of 2013.
For the first time, the trustee's office did not post notices on properties that will be included in the sale.
Notices of the tax delinquencies and pending sales were mailed to property owners in an effort to make the process more efficient, said Bobby Stephenson, director of collections.
"We're trying to decide where our money is best spent, from sending a person out to post a notice on between 300 and 500 pieces of property or printing pictures from the register's GIS system (geographic information system) or Google of the property and mailing a notice to that owner," Stephenson said.
The county mailed notices for 3,118 properties and of those, taxes for 787 properties subsequently were paid in full, Stephenson said.
The county later mailed an additional 509 notices to property locations, addressed to the owner. Of those, about 250 were returned unopened, while another 79 owners paid in full.
The trustee's office also acquired telephone numbers from Memphis Light, Gas and Water Division for the properties in an effort to reach the property owners by phone.
"We're going to review this again for its effectiveness," Stephenson said. "But this has worked really well and we're probably going to stay with this for a while."
Before, a county employee would tape the notice of the delinquency to the wall of a property, take a picture of the house and download it into the county system, Stephenson said.
"So we can cover a lot more ground printing pictures in-house and sending a notice to the owner than we can cover in a day driving around," he said.
Last month the county trustee's office reached an agreement with the city of Memphis to collect its current and delinquent taxes. The trustee's office also will begin collecting property taxes this year for the city of Lakeland.
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