The Travis County Tax Office has released a list of the top 10 delinquent property taxpayers. In all, they owe more than $600 thousand. If they don't pay up they could have their property seized.
The tax office says they've collected 99 percent of the property taxes owed for 2016. That still leaves 1 percent, which is $38 million left to collect.
It's been a busy tax season for Travis County. Property owners received their tax bills last October. Those who failed to make the February 1st deadline have been contacted several times.
"If you can give me a call back, we can set up a payment plan and try to resolve the balance on your account," says employee, Travis County Tax Office.
The top 10 list of delinquent property taxpayers was placed on the Travis County website Wednesday morning. It's a last resort says Tax Assessor-Collector Bruce Elfant.
"It's very frustrating for us when we send out the bills, we send out the delinquent notices, we do everything we can to reach out to folks and we can't make communication with them," says Bruce Elfant, Travis County Tax Assessor-Collector.
Number one on the list is DCM Uptown LP, which is Verandas at Uptown Condominiums at 909 Reinli Street. They owe more than $100 thousand. Second on the list is the former property owners of El Gallo restaurant on South Congress, which closed in January. They owe more than $88 thousand. By mid-afternoon Wednesday they had arranged for a payment plan.
Others on the list:
- Onions Associates Ltd
- Lazy T Royalty Management Ltd
- Austin MLK Development Inc
- Walnut Hills TX Realty LLC
- Lakeway Regional Medical Center Condominium Association
- Debbie J Outlaw
- Several gas stations owned by 7-Eleven Inc
- Buckman Marion K & Mi H
"We understand that for residential homeowners, taxes are very high and they have issues and may not be able to pay it all at once. For commercial property owners, there may be issues about revenue flow and it may not be flowing right now. We understand that but we need to get them on a payment plan," says Elfant.
If the tax office does not hear back from those on the delinquent list, in a few weeks they plan to file lawsuits. Worst case scenario, it could result in foreclosure.
"We don't want to, we don't like to. It's not in our best interest to because if we have a lot of inventory on the rolls from properties we foreclose, they deteriorate. So it's not in our interest," says Elfant.
They say they're doing everything they can to avoid that from happening.
In addition to the top 10 delinquent list, there are about 19,000 property owners that owe some amount of money. None of them owe higher than $35 thousand. If ignored, we're told the penalties and interest will keep increasing.
You can pay online or contact the Travis County Tax Office: (512) 854-9473.