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Halifax County hires firm to go after delinquent taxes
SoVaNow.com / December 16, 2013
Halifax County supervisors, looking for ways to boost revenue, hired an outside firm to step up collections of delinquent tax bills.
With a property tax backlog exceeding $2.5 million, supervisors on Thursday approved a contract with Taxing Authority Consulting Services (TACS) to collect delinquent real estate and personal property taxes.
TASC will receive 20 percent of all delinquent payments received, or 25 percent if real properties must be sold at auction to collect the debt.
In hiring the debt collectors, supervisors instructed Halifax County Treasurer Linda Foster and her staff to submit electronic lists of delinquencies over the past five years to TACS to allow the company to carry out its work.
Supervisors also approved a lease with the Halifax County Health Department for 8,316 square feet of space on the first floor of the Mary Bethune Complex. Under the lease agreement, the health department will pay an annual base rent of $39,417.84, plus its pro rata share of operating expenses such as janitorial costs.
Supervisors also agreed to extend by six months a lease with the U.S. Department of Agriculture for 4,840 square feet of space in the Farm Service Building in Halifax. The rent works out to $8.50 per square foot.
Following a closed session, board members delayed taking action on a recommendation by the Fairgrounds Advisory Committee. The committee wants to turn a 46-acre fairgrounds parcel over to the Halifax County Industrial Development Authority for marketing to future business or commercial prospects. The parcel in question is located on Plywood Trail.
Board Chairman Tom West objected to offering a small part of the 46 acres because the Heritage Festival uses that land for tractor pulls. That brought forth an objection by ED-8 Supervisor Bryant Claiborne, who reminded West, “We bought this fairgrounds property with an eye for economic development and that’s what we need to do with it.”
In keeping with that objective, supervisors previously budgeted $50,000 for a preliminary engineering study on running water and sewer services to the property.
The Fairgrounds Advisory Committee made three other recommendations for the fairgrounds property, all of which won approval from the supervisors on Thursday.
The proposals include setting aside existing fairgrounds property for future fairs, festivals and special events, and reserving a limited amount of space for low-impact camping for visitors to South Boston Speedway or the fair and festivals. The third recommendation is to leave the eastern side of the fairgrounds property open for the time being, with no investments envisioned for the time being.
The Board of Supervisors is expected to address the future of the 46-acre fairgrounds parcel at its January meeting, giving county staff more time to move forward with the engineering report for water and sewer service to the property.
CommentsWe don't need to reserve land for things tourists might actually attend like tractor pulls, heritage festivals, fairs, and races. We have a tourism center. If we say we are gonna have tourism then it must be true.
- By Words speak louder than actions on 12 / 16 / 13
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