Ben Hill cracking down on delinquent taxpayers

Ben Hill County Commission meeting. / Jessica Fairley

In the final Ben Hill County Commission meeting for 2012 County Manager Frank Feild presented a positive report about the county's delinquent tax situation.

Although the county is still facing financial disarray, officials are cracking down on delinquent tax payers.

The Ben Hill County tax commissioner held a Delinquent Property Tax Sale that produced more than $9,500 in delinquent taxes, penalties, interest and bid revenues.

A total of 13 delinquent properties were sold.

More than $200,000 in back taxes have been collected this year.

Officials say although they're still facing financial difficulties in the county, they will continue to work closely with the tax commissioner to recover delinquent taxes.

"I know that there was a lot of concern in the community about taxes not being collected like they should be but from our perspective the tax commissioner is doing a great job and being very aggressive in going after these back taxes," says Frank Field, Ben Hill County Manager.

During Tuesday's meeting commissioners also went over the energy excise tax but decided to table the matter for a public hearing.

Emergency Management Services Director Mark Shealey approached the board about a possible ambulance rate increase. He says since daily costs are going up, the rate increase would help keep the budget balanced.

Commissioners asked Shealey to return to January's meeting with more information about how the ambulance ride rate increase would affect people and save money.

Although commissioners tabled several issues during the final meeting for 2012, they say they'll tackle them again in 2013.