Most Louisville property owners have received their annual tax bills by now. And the Metropolitan Housing Coalition and the Louisville Department of Codes and Regulations are warning residents of the dangers of not paying.
Tax bills are due at the end of the year. If they’re not paid by April 15, they’ll be turned over to the county attorney. After that, the liens are sold to other collectors.
“One a delinquent property tax bill is offered for sale, there are registered private purchasers who buy that delinquent property tax bill. And they have the same privileges of government, but, of course, they don’t have the same interests as government,” says Cathy Hinko with the Metropolitan Housing Coalition.
Metro Government is facing a financial shortfall, due in part to diminished tax bills. But Mary McGuire, who leads the city’s vacant properties initiative, says that’s not the main reason why residents should pay up.
Once delinquent tax liens pile up, the city becomes unable to improve the property, and that can lead to more vacant, abandoned or crumbling houses in Louisville.
“If there’s a homeowner for example who doesn’t live on the property or they’re an heir to an estate and don’t want the property, if they want to just deed it over to the city, to donate it, if there are any tax liens on the property, we can’t take it,” says McGuire.
The Metropolitan Housing Coalition encourages residents to contact city officials to discuss partial tax payments, lower bills for elderly residents and payment plans.