Funds Returned to Clay County

Thursday, August 8, 2013
Those on hand for the check presentation on funds from the sale of tax delinquent lands included, from left: Clay County Judge Gary Howell, Commissioner of State Lands John Thurston, Deputy Circuit Clerk Joy Lambert, County Treasurer Carolyn Morrisett, Deputy County Clerk Kay Baker and Clay County Sheriff Gerald McClung.

Arkansas Commissioner of Lands John Thurston visited Piggott Wednesday, July 31, to present a check representing Clay County's 2012 turnback funds. A special check presentation ceremony with county officials was held at the courthouse, as the funds from the redemption and sale of tax delinquent properties were returned to the local coffers.

This year Clay County received a total of $44, 926.23 of the $21 million from tax delinquent tax collections last year. Of the total, County Treasurer Carolyn Morrisett notes only about 20-percent will be going into the county general fund while the bulk will be going to the three school districts in the county.

The annual tax delinquent real estate sale for Clay County for 2013 was held yesterday (Tuesday, Aug. 6) at the courthouse in Piggott.

Thurston notes owners of delinquent property are encouraged to redeem it before it is offered at sale. First, they must contact his office to request the proper paperwork and then must pay all delinquent taxes, penalties and interest due. Prospective buyers may also contact the office for more information on buying tax delinquent land, or visit their website at www.cosl.org

"Once properties are redeemed by the original owner or sold at public auction, the funds collected are forwarded to the county, where the property is located, one year after collection date," Thurston noted. He added his office works diligently to collect this important revenue on delinquent parcels.

"The good news is that most of the revenue we collect is through the redemption of delinquent parcels by the original owner. Property taxes play a vital role in the stability of county revenues. Public schools and county services depend on real estate tax dollars to aid in funding their programs. Without these funds communities may miss out on essential programs and growth," said Thurston.

The commissioner's office works with officials in all 75 counties to ensure collection of property taxes. "Our county officials are the boots on the ground workers in this process, we appreciate all they do and we would not have collected these amounts without working hand-in-hand with them on a daily basis.

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