Collectors Annual Report
INTRODUCTION - The process of delinquent tax collection has been a very interesting and learning experience for us in the Collectors office as it has been for many of Ashbys residents. Attempting to collect delinquent taxes has been an on-going process for about four years and significant progress has been made. We have begun the foreclosure process on several of the properties owing overdue taxes by placing them under Tax Title.
TAX TITLE - Neglecting to pay real estate taxes will eventually result in the property being placed under Tax Title. Property placed in Tax Title is the first step the Town takes to foreclose on the properties with unpaid taxes. Taking property by Tax Title is a very detailed, time-consuming process. This office did our first "Taking" on seven properties (of seven advertised) on 11/13/96. The next "Taking" was nine properties (of the 11 advertised) on 11/3/99, and we did 15 properties (of the 21 advertised) on 1/5/2000. We plan on advertising and "Taking" the next group this spring or summer.
EXCISE BILLS - Next year, Ashbys motor vehicle bills will be printed and mailed from this office and will include a barcode compatible with our new software. This will allow quicker mailing, improved posting time, and by inserting more than one bill per envelope, will reduce of the cost of postage and envelopes. Whenever a motor vehicle excise remains unpaid after the DEMAND bill, we will continue to have our Deputy Collector, Kelly and Ryan, pursue collection by WARRANT. Since the Deputy is directly linked to the Registry of Motor Vehicles, this prevents the renewal of licenses and registrations for non-payment of excise taxes.
SOFTWARE - The new tax collection software, which has been in use for a little over a year, has improved the collection of taxes and has significantly enhanced the printing, posting and recording of real estate and personal property bills. The forthcoming 2000 Motor Vehicle bills will join the fiscal years 1999 and 2000 real estate and personal property bills currently using the new software. We are planing to include the older delinquent real estate tax accounts into the new software after the Tax Title process has progressed a bit further. Until the transition has been completed, we will need to be running both of the Y2K compliant software programs.
CONCLUSION - Maintaining an adequate staff along with dependable and up-to-date equipment and software has ensured all payments are now being processed much sooner than previously possible. Answering taxpayer questions and being able to provide immediate tax account information has gotten better, which benefits Ashbys residents along with mortgage companies, tax services, lending establishments and everyone else we do business with.
Peggy VanHillo, Collector