Council writes off delinquent taxes

Published 11:26 am Wednesday, November 16, 2016

Franklin’s city council voted to write off nearly $20,000 in delinquent personal property taxes for tax year 2010, $1,732 in delinquent business licenses from 2009-2010, and nearly $110,000 in outstanding delinquent utility accounts from 2010 at their regular scheduled council meeting, held on Monday evening in city hall.

City Manager R. Randy Martin brought the write-offs to council’s attention, citing the statute of limitations for taxes deemed uncollectible in the Code of Virginia sections 58.1-3940 and a report from City Treasurer Dinah Babb. The Code of Virginia mandates that the collection of local taxes shall only be enforceable for five years following Dec. 31 of the year for which such taxes were assessed.

According to Babb, the city’s books are well balanced and Franklin is unlikely to incur any serious financial consequences from writing off these accounts.

The vote to write off the city’s delinquent personal property taxes carried 6-0 with Councilman McLemore abstaining. The votes to write off the city’s delinquent business licenses and utility accounts  both carried 6-1 with McLemore voting nay.

According to a financial report by Babb, the city has been able to collect on approximately 96 percent of its accounts and approximately 70 percent of its delinquents are on payment plans. Babb added that the figures she reported as being owed to the city do not include penalties and interest, just the base taxes.

The council also presented its proposed schedule for filling its seven school board vacancies and instructed City Attorney H. Taylor Williams IV to proceed with its implementation.

The schedule mandates a public hearing on Nov. 28, at which nominations for new board members will be taken. Following the public hearing, council will schedule dates to interview the nominees, and will make final appointments of new board members Dec. 12 during the regular scheduled council meeting, where the appointees will take the Oath of Office.

The council hopes to have at least four new members appointed by Dec. 12 so that the board can have a quorum and proceed with their regular scheduled school board meeting Dec. 15.

Appointments to fill each vacancy will vary in term length due to the already established staggered terms of office. A person can be nominated to serve as a representative of the Ward in which he or she resides, or be nominated to serve as the “at large” representative.

The council concluded by going into closed session to discuss a prospective business or industry.