More than 500 properties currently stand to be lost in Warren County in the next week due to unpaid taxes
Published 5:50 pm Tuesday, August 17, 2021
The deadline for 2018 property taxes is quickly closing in on Aug. 26 at 5 p.m. and more than 500 parcels in Warren County are still unpaid.
Warren County Chancery Clerk Donna Hardy said any number over 200 is unacceptable, and she is worried about how many people are going to lose their homes. If you’re on the Chancery Clerk’s list of those who have not paid, you are also on the tax collector’s list and that property is going to sale on Aug. 30.
“It’s just baffling,” Hardy said. “This number is too high.”
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The clerk’s office sends out multiple notices about the tax amount that is due to the owners starting in January through certified mail. However, Hardy said she has received 40 to 50 percent of the mail back without a record of an attempt to deliver it to the recipient.
“All this mail coming back is alarming to us,” Hardy said. “We sent out certified mail twice. We sent all this certified mail out to people and now it’s coming back undelivered at an alarming rate. We want to make sure that people know they owe these taxes.”
Hardy said she is scared that people are going to lose their homes over a sum of money that is less than a month’s wages, and that her office is doing everything they can to get the word out to those who owe. She said they have been trying to contact property owners via telephone but are struggling because few of the contact numbers on file are valid.
“We have been calling but keep this in mind: The only place we find a telephone number is a deed and that deed might be 20 years old and now you all carry cell phones,” Hardy said. “As the public is coming in, they will tell you they haven’t gotten a notice.”
In addition to these efforts, Warren County Sheriff’s deputies are pitching in to serve notices at the doors. The clerk’s office has also subscribed to a service that does investigative work in order to try to locate people.
“We need to get to y’all as quickly as possible,” Hardy said. “Go to our website or [The Vicksburg Post] has printed [the list of people who owe]. If you don’t find your name but you’re still concerned, call us.”
Hardy said it takes five minutes to call and see if you owe taxes and what the amount is, but they are running out of time. During Monday’s Warren County Board of Supervisors meeting, Hardy appealed to the public and the supervisors for help making people aware of the taxes they owe quickly.
“A lot of people wait until the last minute but y’all 529 parcels in eight days in Mississippi in August and we haven’t even had a hurricane yet,” Hardy said on Monday. “We don’t know what’s happening in the next eight days. We don’t know what’s going to be closed down because of any potential surges of COVID.”
Hardy said people need to come in immediately and not wait until Aug. 26 to pay their taxes. She said in the midst of a COVID-19 surge and two hurricanes possibly headed toward Mississippi, the next week is unpredictable regarding what it will look like.
“Don’t wait until the last minute,” Hardy said. “Help us help you, because we are trying to save you from losing your home. We are alarmed by all this.”
The list of those who owe can be found here, but if there is any question as to whether you owe property taxes, call the office at 601-636-4415.