PARKERSBURG - Delinquent taxpayers will have until 4:30 p.m. Nov. 6 to pay up or see their property go on the auction block.
The auction of delinquent properties is scheduled for 10 a.m. Nov. 7 in the Fort Boreman public meeting room of the Judge Black Courthouse Annex.
Chief Tax Deputy Bob Tranquill said as of Wednesday there were 1,515 parcels of real estate that are delinquent, compared to 1,603 at this same time last year.
Photo by Pamela Brust
Wood County Chief Sheriff’s Tax Deputy Bob Tranquill and Meagan Lough, the tax deputy who handles the delinquencies and coordinates the auction for the sheriff’s tax office, with copies of the certified letters sent out to delinquent taxpayers.
"The number changes daily as people come in and pay," said Meagan Lough, tax deputy who handles the delinquent taxes and the auction. T.R. Smith, with the sheriff's department, will act as auctioneer.
"No one wants to take anyone's home. We want to encourage people to come in and pay the bill," Lough said.
"My goal is to get that number down to around 220 or so. But the longer you wait to pay, the more it will cost as interest and other fees continue to build up," Tranquill said. In addition to the interest that accrues on overdue tax bills, there is a cost for the required publication of the list of delinquencies and the cost of mailing out the notification letters.
* Wood County's delinquent properties will be sold at auction at 10 a.m. Nov. 7 in the Fort Boreman public meeting room at the Judge Black Courthouse Annex.
* Office hours for the sheriff's tax office, which is in the courthouse annex, are 8:30 a.m.-4:30 p.m. Monday through Friday. For information call the office at 304-424-1910.
* To avoid having delinquent property sold on the auction block, taxpayers must make payment by 4:30 p.m. Nov. 6 to the sheriff's tax office. In addition to taxes due, there are interest penalties that accrue, costs for publishing the list of delinquencies, which is required by statute, and notification charges also included.
"We do everything we can to remind people. We send out certified letters to remind them," Tranquill said.
Lough said it's important if you have moved or your address has changed, like with the 911 addressing, to notify the assessor or the sheriff's tax office to assure the tax ticket goes to the correct address.
"If you've always received a tax ticket, then don't get one, you still owe the taxes, and you need to call us," Tranquill said.
The tax office is located in the Judge Black Courthouse Annex, with office hours 8:30 a.m.-4:30 p.m. Monday through Friday. The entrance to the tax office is through double doors facing Market Street. Questions can be directed to the tax office at 304-424-1910.
"Some people think we are the only county that does this. But it's required by state code, and all 55 counties have a delinquent tax sale," Tranquill said.
Payments can only be made with cash, cashier's check or money order. There is an Automatic Teller Machine in the annex. The tax office cannot accept debit or credit cards for payment.
"There are always some people who tell me they think taxes are unfair and deliberately wait until the last minute to pay, but they are only hurting themselves because they will have to pay more if they wait," Tranquill said.
Once property is sold at auction, the original owner has 18 months to redeem it through the state auditor's office.
The buyer gets the deed after the 18-month period has passed.
"Just remember you cannot pay the bill the day of the sale, so make sure it's done by Nov. 6," Tranquill cautioned.