City of Leesville to conduct online tax sales
Leesville Mayor Rick Allen announced today that the City of Leesville will be conducting online tax sale auctions of properties with delinquent taxes.
On September 28, 2015, the Leesville City Council approved Resolution 70 of 2015 allowing Mayor Allen to enter into a professional service agreement on behalf of the City with the Louisiana Municipal Advisory and Technical Services Bureau (LMATS) to assist in the collection of fees and delinquent property taxes, including, but not limited to, tax sales.
“This service agreement with LMATS will speed up the City’s process of collecting delinquent taxes, freeing up funds that can be used for the betterment of the entire city. Best of all, the service is at no cost to the city nor to timely taxpayers,” said Mayor Allen.
The online auction will take the place of the traditional tax sale held at the Leesville City Courthouse. Traditional sales require anyone desiring to participate in the process to be present when the auction is being conducted. Online auctions will allow access to a greater number of citizens who will now be able to bid on properties from their homes or places of business.
Anyone interested in participating in the tax sale may register online prior to the sale at www.civicsource.com. Online information will include a list of properties, a plotted map, satellite images of the properties, amount of delinquent taxes owed, and answers to general questions about the tax sale process, including an instructional video.
In light of new state legislation, La. R.S. 33:2841.1, the Mayor's Office has contracted with a company specializing in third-party government tax collections in order to help secure payment of delinquent property taxes. In addition to conducting the online tax sale, the company is contracted to locate delinquent taxpayers, mail delinquency notices, generate all tax sale related events, process payments, and provide taxpayer customer service through its call center. This use of new technology and these type services has been beneficial in recovering property tax liabilities elsewhere in Louisiana.
Although these new services cost neither the City nor the timely taxpayers anything, starting February 1, 2016, delinquent Leesville City taxpayers will be assessed collection fees, pursuant to state statute, in addition to being assessed 1 percent monthly interest.
The schedule of potential fees to be assessed to delinquent tax payers include:
February 1, 2016 $87.50
March 1, 2016, $96.00
April 1, 2016 $17.50 for each notice of tax sale initiated, plus advertising fee
May 1, 2016 $26.00
May, 2016 $17.50 plus advertising fee
These collection fees cover the administrative costs of printing and mailing notices and operating a call center, where taxpayers can submit payments and obtain account balances. By utilizing this approach for delinquent collections, the City no longer has to expend timely paid tax revenues to collect delinquent taxes, and instead the delinquent taxpayers are essentially paying for delinquent tax collection.