Several hundred people in Brown County are at risk of losing their properties if they don’t make good on unpaid taxes. The county has given property owners until October 14th to get their accounts current. If they miss that deadline, their property will go on the auction block.
County Treasurer Joe Wray, who took office in 2005, says the county had gone two years without doing a tax billing. It was his job under state law to get the tax bills current. For the first time, the county got back to a normal billing cycle this year. That meant by July, the county, under state law, had to certify taxes that were eligible for property sale.
“It’s not surprising,” Wray says. “This has not been a secret. This has been the word from the word go. Once we got current to the cycle we were on then we would do a tax sale. And we allowed everybody who was willing to come in and get set up on a payment plan so they’re property taxes would have been paid and they wouldn’t be on the tax sale.”
Originally there were more than 1200 parcels set to be sold next month. That number as of Tuesday was down to 775. For property owners who want to try to do a payment plan now Wray says that offer is off the table.
“The time had to come,” he said, “when eventually the old saying ‘time to pay the piper’ has come.”
The county will offer up 25 parcels for sale at one time during an auction on October 14th. It begins at 10 AM in the commissioner’s meeting room.