List of delinquent taxes may hold good news

May. 15, 2014 @ 09:00 AM

Tax collections are up, and the amount of overdue taxes is down, which could be a sign of an improving economy in Caldwell County, a county tax official said.

As of April 30, the county’s tax collection rate for 2013 taxes was on target at 94.05 percent, up from 93.37 percent for 2012, and the county is bringing in more every day, Tax Administrator Monty Woods said. The collection rate has been climbing each year since 2009.

“I believe it is (a sign of recovery)” Woods said. “I don’t think things are robust, but they’re doing better.”

The county levied taxes for 49,555 properties this year, and currently 5,725 are late in being paid, or delinquent, close to the number last year, when there were about 5,700. The previous year, though, the number of properties with delinquent taxes was more than 7,000.

Total overdue taxes are down as well, to $1,937,550 owed as of April 30 compared to $2,154,228 last year, a difference of more than $216,000.

A real estate developer, Estates of NC LLC, owes the highest amount in back taxes, $29,003 for three properties, followed by Johns-Gamewell LLC, another developer, which owes $22,093 for 61 properties.

Last year Phoenix Rising LLC owed $183,000 -- an amount Woods called unusually high -- on 115 undeveloped lots, and Johns-Gamewell owed $67,000.

Developers are doing better this year, and new construction shows it, Woods said, specifically mentioning Timber Rock, a developing subdivision in the northern part of the county that had changed hands multiple times in recent years.