Posted by Brandon Jarvis
Mayor Levar M. Stoney today announced collection of delinquent real estate taxes, penalties and interest has dramatically increased during the past year through expansion of the delinquent tax sale program.
In this current fiscal year, which ends this week, the Office of the City Attorney successfully sold 134 delinquent properties through auction. Additionally, over $1.4 million was collected from 86 properties redeemed or sold by the owners after being placed into the program. This total of 220 properties represents many times the number sold or redeemed in fiscal year 2015 (40) and fiscal year 2016 (49).
In terms of revenue to the city, $5.9 million has been received this fiscal year. This total includes approximately $4.2 million in delinquent taxes, penalties and interest, plus nearly $1.7 million in legal expenses and related fees. This unprecedented increase in revenue collection was accomplished with additional personnel funding allocated to the Office of the City Attorney, engagement with an outside collections attorney and enhanced coordination with the Departments of Economic and Community Development, Finance and Planning and Development Review.
Mayor Stoney extended his appreciation to the city attorney and those involved in selling these properties and returning them to the active tax rolls. “This eliminates blight and addresses public safety challenges while enhancing economic development in the process,” said the mayor. “This was identified as a need in the VCU Performance Review, and our success is generating additional revenue for schools and public safety.”
In the next fiscal year beginning July 1, the Office of the City Attorney will endeavor to sell over 225 more properties at auction (in addition to realizing a significant number of expected redemptions), as well as an additional 100 properties via the engaged collections attorney as part of the new Economic Development Delinquent Tax Sale Program.