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County to have tax sales in fall
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The percentage of land owners not paying their property taxes has steadily increased since the recession first struck:

2010 - 96.19 percent collected
2009 - 98.30 percent collected
2008 - 98.97 percent collected
2007 - 99.74 percent collected
2006 - 99.94 percent collected

After giving delinquent property taxpayers a reprieve in 2010, Newton County will once again be seizing and selling delinquent properties to the public this year.

Tax Commissioner Barbara Dingler said the county did not hold a tax sale in 2010 because of the state of the economy and the numerous bank closings and FDIC takeovers. Tax sales are held at the discretion of the county; Newton County had its last sale in August 2009.

The county did send out letters to delinquent taxpayers in 2010, and will be doing so again in 2011. The first notice was sent Feb. 9, with a follow-up notice sent April 28.

Any owner who has still not paid taxes will be sent a third notice of delinquency in June, which is also sent to that person's lender. If the taxes remain unpaid, a lien is placed on the property and the property will be scheduled for seizure, levy and sale.

The properties will then be levied in July and August, after additional notices are sent to the owner. Finally, the tax sale will be advertised in The News during September, and sales will take place Oct. 4 and in November.