Apr 3, 2013 5:53 PM by Andrew Ellison - email@example.com
CORPUS CHRISTI - We have more tonight on our 6 news investigation into delinquent taxpayers in Nueces County. We found the county has been missing out on big chunks of money every year, and when it comes to some homeowners, there isn't much they can do about it.
We took a look at a list of the some of the biggest delinquent taxpayers in the county.
One homeowner hasn't paid his property taxes off since 1980. That's over three decades. He owes $99,598.
Linebarger, Goggan, Blair and Simpson is the law firm that collects for the county, and they say the owner has a disability exemption, but that he should have been paying all these years.
They say this is one taxpayer who slipped through the cracks.
The county recently found out that owner wasn't living in the house, so they seized it and plan to sell it in May.
But after a fire severely damaged this property a couple weeks ago, the county will be lucky to get a fraction of what they're owed.
One homeowner on Ocean Drive hasn't paid his property taxes since 1992. He owes nearly $198,690.
But State law says he doesn't have to pay.
That's because he filed for a deferral. Anyone over 65 can do it. It means your tax bill keeps going up, but the property taxes don't have to be paid until the property changes hands.
And if you're married, your spouse can keep the deferral too.
It means that these taxes can pile up for decades and there's nothing the county can do to collect.
The same thing happened at a property near City Hall, an old abandoned club.
The owner hasn't paid since 1985, and filed for a deferral in 1993. She owes $164,642.
She died in 2010, and now the county will likely seize and sell the property, but again, only at a fraction of what they're owed.
Another thing to consider is that state law says the county can't go back more than 20 years when pursuing unpaid property taxes, and in some cases like these, it can take years and years before the county gets any money at all.
Keep in mind that when big chunks of money are missing from the county, everyone else has to make up the difference.