On April 1 — a week from today — those left on the 2017 delinquent tax rolls will be turned over to Sullivan County Chancery Court, resulting in a higher penalty (21 percent), court costs and potential attorney’s fees.
There are more than 90,000 property parcels on Sullivan County’s tax rolls.
In past years, however, it has not been unusual for more than 1,000 such tax bills to go unpaid by the time they are sent to the court.
The 2017 taxes originally were due the last day of February 2018.
The original bills were mailed out in late 2017. Now time is running out to catch up on those tax payments without going to court.
Currently, there is a 19.5 percent penalty on those unpaid taxes. The penalty accrues at 1.5 percent per month, beginning in March 2018. The total will increase to 21 percent when the outstanding parcels are switched over to Chancery Court on April 1.
In order to avoid court, delinquent 2017 taxpayers must make sure payments are in the Sullivan County trustee’s office by March 31. That’s next Sunday.
Those offices are not open on the weekend.
Payment can be made at any of three Sullivan County trustee offices — in the historic Sullivan County Courthouse in Blountville, at Kingsport City Hall and at the Bristol Justice Center.
Property on which taxes remain delinquent is ultimately auctioned by the county.