Linn County Property Tax Delinquencies Up, Johnson County's Down

By Steve Gravelle, Reporter

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By Liz Blood

LINN & JOHNSON CO., Iowa - More Linn County property owners are behind in their taxes this year while Johnson County saw a drop in delinquencies.

"Collections are really moving on track or a little ahead for this time of year," said Johnson County Treasurer Tom Kriz.

Johnson County mailed 2,246 property tax delinquency notices Nov. 1, down from 2,411 last year, Kriz said.

Linn County mailed 6,442 notices Nov. 1, up about 7 percent over last year's 6,004 and 60 percent more than the 4,013 notices mailed in 2007, County Treasurer Sharon Gonzalez said.

The notices were mailed in February until lthe law was changed last year in an effort to help property owners reduce their interest costs, Gonzalez said.

A 1.5-percent interest charge is assessed monthly against unpaid property taxes through May. Properties whose owners remain delinquent are auctioned by the county on the third Monday of June.

Kriz said low interest rates are contributing to the decrease in tax sales in his county.

"Each year that seems to drop a little bit," he said. "If you need to borrow it to pay your taxes, you’re better off paying that (loan payment) than the interest that accrues."

Linn County sold 1,431 properties in June for a total of $2,498,000, Gonzalez said. Johnson County sold 757 for $751,589.

Linn County's numbers lingering effects of the June 2008 flood and the recession that began in December 2007. This year's delinquencies include 5,165 real estate parcels (residential, commercial, and agricultural), 1,260 mobile homes, and 17 utilities.

Kriz wasn't able to provide detailed information today for Johnson County's delinquent parcels.

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