You asked: Southampton County has booted 327 vehicles for back taxes

Published 10:37 am Saturday, July 21, 2012

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You asked: How many Southampton County delinquent taxpayers’ vehicles in have been booted and sold?

COURTLAND—Since initiating the process of booting vehicles to collect delinquent personal property taxes, 327 vehicles have been seized, according to Southampton County Treasurer David Britt.

Of those vehicles seized since May 2011, 14 were sold at auction, Britt said.

The county at the same time collected $136,662 in late personal property taxes, penalties and interest.

In the county’s attempt to collect $1.7 million in back taxes, it began working with Virginia Auction and Collections Co. to locate and seize vehicles belonging to delinquent taxpayers.

The treasurers sent their delinquent lists to Virginia Auction. Using license-plate readers equipped with the treasurers’ information, Virginia Auction employees scan cars in parking lots, driveways and streets.

Once the reader locates a license plate matching a delinquent account, the agent verifies the vehicle’s identification and boots the car.

The agent also places a warrant explaining the seizure on the vehicle. 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 at a cost of $200 to the owner.

For the cars that are sold at auction, proceeds go toward paying the taxes, Britt said. Any left over money goes to the auction company for its towing and storage expenses, the lien holder and then to the owner of the car.

“A lot of these cars aren’t bringing in that much,” he said.