Boykins takes bold step

Published 10:57 am Wednesday, August 24, 2011

The Boykins Town Council is doing the right thing by going after those who owe personal property and real estate taxes.

Using Virginia Auction Co., the town since July has collected $2,148 in personal property taxes — a tax that’s levied annually on vehicles, trailers and motorcycles. Of that, $1,317 was collected from vehicles that Virginia Auction Co. booted or seized. Another $831 came in voluntarily from others who heard about it and wanted to avoid the minimum $230 cost involved with seizures and towing, in addition to a 20 percent fee on taxes owed.

Before the seizing began, $7,306 was owed in personal property taxes to the Town of Boykins and $3,925 in real estate taxes. Some $1,600 since July has been paid in real estate taxes.

Now Virginia Auction Co. will go after the remaining $2,345 in real estate taxes.

Law requires property owners to pay taxes, and law requires communities to collect them. Sure, people hit hard times, but they will find that most communities will work with those struggling to pay their taxes. If a payment plan is in place and payments are current, your vehicle will be left alone.

It’s tough for small-town officials to go after their neighbors for unpaid taxes, but necessary to provide services, including police and fire protection, to those neighbors.