When you do not pay your real estate taxes your property is sold. There is an Upset Sale and a Free & Clear Sale each year. Afterwards there is a process which takes about 1 year and then proceeds from the sales are to be distributed to local municipalities, school districts, lien holders, etc.
Despite repeated meetings, emails, directions etc distributions are not timely made. I have the documentation. I have also sought outside assistance to help me. I met with the 3 county solicitors in 2016 when the new commissioner board took office showing all of them this issue (one already knew since she was part of the prior administration) We have one solicitor working on preparing the Petitions (he says he has 2011 almost done and working on the next year)
For years 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015, 2016, 2017, 2018 (8 years) the sales were about $5.2 million. Yes $5.2 million. The $ is to be placed in its own account. However, the amount in that account is about $2.5 million. Yes $2.5 million. The balance, as per an internal audit done by the Controllers Office reports that the balance was used for General Fund tax sale purposes. It was not supposed to be used in that manner. Why was it used in that manner? The county offices followed the procedure outlined by the paid financial consultant who has been the paid financial consultant for years.
How does this get corrected? 1. Correct the accounting procedure immediately 2. Transfer the funds from the General Fund to the correct Sales Fund. 3. Get the Petitions for these years filed before the Courts and get the $$$ into the hands of the proper entities such as your local school districts and your local municipalities.
Do not allow Commissioners Vicites and Lohr or the financial consultant to place blame on the prior commissioner board or me or the former county manager or the former controller or the former acting controller to point fingers because of their quest for re-election. They’ve been in office since 2016 and the 2011 distribution is not done. The county General Fund should not have used these monies….. No wonder the two commissioners Vicites and Lohr report to the voters- the taxpayers that they have “balanced the budget” and work “diligently daily on the budget” “review line item by line item”………..they use and still use monies from the sales fund for other sales fund expenses which is not permitted.
A county should not sell properties and retain the proceeds from the sales. Like I said, the process after a sale is normally 1 year and in some cases maybe a year and 6 months but not this long. The proceeds from tax sales 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015 and 2016 should be distributed. No excuses….. Can I get a second?????????