Treasurer helps collect $600,000 in delinquent taxes

Published 11:36 am Wednesday, December 4, 2013

FRANKLIN—Since coming on board in March 2010, Treasurer Dinah Babb has helped Franklin collect more than $600,000 out of $1.2 million owed in delinquent taxes.

To efficiently and fairly collect revenues, City Manager Randy Martin said you had to collect delinquents.

“It is not fair for the ones that do pay if you do not collect the delinquents,” Martin said. “That’s one thing that a well-managed community must do, is efficiently and fairly collect revenues. I feel exceptionally good about the progress that has been made in the last two to three years.”

The city collects on personal property, business licenses and real estate.

Once she took over, Babb said, she reinstated some of the tools that the state code allows treasurers to use for collection purposes and also implemented several new means.

“My main focus was to collect the delinquent taxes owed to the locality,” she said.

For a city the size of Franklin, Babb said it is particularly important to collect delinquent taxes.

“Whenever revenue is not collected, it hinders the services the city is required to provide, for example, police, fire and rescue, roads, and the list goes on and on,” she said. “The locality, by law, has to have revenue to provide these services.”

Another thing she has done is help residents in paying.

“You also have to take a look as to how we got to the delinquencies,” she said. “The economy – people losing jobs – was a big factor. My job as treasurer is to find ways to assist citizens in paying their delinquent taxes and offering ways to get them back on track and paying their taxes on time.

“We continually look for new ways to collect, and meet with citizens who need assistance in paying delinquent and current taxes. Our office has an open door policy.”

If you are having trouble paying your taxes, Babb suggested residents come speak with herself or the deputy treasurer.

“One of the major tools I implemented was setting up payment plans,” she said. “This has been a great tool. Citizens can handle making monthly payments. As long as they meet their payment agreement with my office, they don’t have to worry about additional collection action being taken against them.”

Babb said she and her staff work daily in collecting the delinquencies, as well as in the day-to-day operations of the office.

“This job is not something you can do and then sit back,” she said. “Every day you are looking at ways at collecting revenue owed to the city.”

Babb said heading in the right direction makes her feel good.

“You just have to realize it’s never done,” she said. “You are constantly collecting on the old and soon to be collecting on the current. Collecting money from people is never a positive thing to do, you just have to treat people as you want to be treated and keep a positive attitude. I have a great staff and they know their jobs.”