Boykins to use ‘boot’ to collect real estate taxes

Published 10:05 am Saturday, August 20, 2011

BOYKINS—The Boykins Town Council during a recent meeting voted unanimously to use the same agency collecting delinquent property taxes to collect back real estate taxes.

Since starting the collection of personal property in July using Virginia Auction Co., which seizes vehicles of those who owe the tax, $2,148 has been collected, said Mayor Spier Edwards. Of that, $1,317 was collected from vehicles that were booted or seized and $831 came in voluntarily from others who heard about it. The tax is levied annually on vehicles, trailers and motorcycles.

Before the seizing began, $7,306 was owed in personal property taxes and $3,925 in real estate taxes, Edwards said. Some $1,600 has been paid in real estate taxes.

Now Virginia Auction Co. will go after the remaining $2,345.

Communities using Virginia Auction get delinquent tax lists. Using license-plate readers equipped with the treasurers’ information, Virginia Auction employees scan cars’ license plates in parking lots, driveways and streets.

Once the reader locates a license plate matching a delinquent account, the agent boots the car. A note is left for the owner to call the treasurer’s office to settle the tax account.

If payment is made before the close of business that day, the vehicle is not towed; the only cost is $30 to have the boot removed and a 20 percent collection fee.

If the treasurer’s office is closed, the vehicle will be towed. The towing fee is $200.