Delinquent taxes rising in Franklin

Published 5:55 pm Friday, February 14, 2020

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The total amount of delinquent taxes owed to the City of Franklin nearly doubled last year after having been on the decline since 2010.

Dinah Babb

According to City Treasurer Dinah Babb, as of November 2018, the city’s books showed a total of just over $334,000 in back taxes for fiscal years 2001-2017. By Nov. 30, 2019, this figure had ballooned to over $635,000, which she said was largely due to three formerly tax-exempt properties that are now taxable.

She then confirmed that these three formerly tax-exempt properties were the Berkley Court, Pretlow Gardens and Old Town Terrace apartment complexes, each of which is still administered by the Franklin Redevelopment and Housing Authority, but was deeded from FRHA ownership to two limited partnerships several years ago.

Of the $300,000-plus increase in total delinquent taxes, $210,067.12, Babb said, is directly attributable to the aforementioned apartment complexes.

This figure, however, includes just the total back taxes owed, and not any additional penalties and interest, which is why it is lower than the $313,869.68 that The Tidewater News previously reported as what was collectively owed on all three apartment complexes as of Sept. 1, 2019.

Though real estate taxes make up the bulk of the cumulative delinquent taxes owed, there is also $168,658.95 owed in back personal property taxes for fiscal years 2008 through 2017, a $36.75 delinquent business license fee for 2014 through 2018, and $1,452.66 in delinquent meals taxes, which Franklin’s City Council voted to charge off in December since the business owing the meals tax is now closed and the owner is deceased.