County changes window for collecting certain taxes

Posted 7/28/20

Madison County Commissioners Monday passed a trio of measures that will accelerate efforts to collect delinquent personal property taxes from local businesses. Commissioners agreed to enter a new contract with law firm Linebarger Goggan Blair & Sampson, one of the country’s largest debt collection operations, but also under a new agreement that will allow the firm to seek delinquent taxes on April 1 instead of prior arrangement that didn’t allow collections until July 1 each year.

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County changes window for collecting certain taxes

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Madison County Commissioners Monday passed a trio of measures that will accelerate efforts to collect delinquent personal property taxes from local businesses. Commissioners agreed to enter a new contract with law firm Linebarger Goggan Blair & Sampson, one of the country’s largest debt collection operations, but also under a new agreement that will allow the firm to seek delinquent taxes on April 1 instead of prior arrangement that didn’t allow collections until July 1 each year.

The rollback to April will allow the firm to seize or lien company property for a business that might be shutting down or leaving the county, according to an attorney with Linbarger Goggan Blair & Sampson.

“We’re talking about a business in danger of going under, and before they can remove property from the county,” attorney Wade Gent told commissioners at their regular meeting Monday. “It makes it easier to show up with (sheriff’s deputy) and say ‘pay your taxes are we’re going to lock the doors on you.”

Commissioners also agreed to an order authorizing additional penalties on delinquent personal property taxes to defray the costs of collections.

Among other measures Monday, Commissioners gave the county some leeway in setting tax rates during declarations of disaster by Texas Gov. Greg Abbott and U.S. President Donald Trump. The measure will allow the county to take advantage of a provision of the Texas Property Tax Reform and Transparency Act of 2019, which allows cities, counties and other taxing units to calculate the no new revenue rate with an 8% increase holding an election if the combined tax rate would result in the taxes on the average residential homestead to increase by more than 3.5%.

Commissioners Monday returned that Voter approved rate back to the former 8% during the disaster declarations, providing the county some further discretion without triggering a costly election.

“Now, you don’t have to raise taxes by 8%, that’s not what I’m asking,” Karen Lane told commissioners.

Also Monday, Commissioners approved the installation of a Ultra Wide Band cradlepoint antenna to the courthouse annex by the Texas Department of Public Safety Information Technology Team.

Commissioners also named Lane to the Brazos Valley Council of Government board of directors.

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