HOUSTON (KTRK) --The top ten delinquent property tax violators in Harris County owe more than $3.3 million combined.
Harris County Tax Assessor Mike Sullivan released a list of ten properties, including four businesses and six private homes, showing how much money each owner owes. Some of the owners have not paid taxes for more than 30 years.
"We collect more than $6 billion each year, with a 98 percent collection rate," Sullivan said. "However, the two percent that do not pay equates to around $340 million in delinquent taxes owed to the county."
Sullivan says the county has made dozens of attempts over the years to track down owners.
"There are a lot of things in property tax code that allow people to pay their taxes late. It's unfortunate. But when you have a property that goes back to 1984, it does raise questions," he said.
It's possible some of these property owners may have passed away. Some have already gone through foreclosures. But others could just be avoiding the bill. Putting pictures of the ten homes and businesses on television is the county's way to try convince owners they must pay. If they don't, these properties will join hundreds of others in auction as soon as next month.
"At that point, we can step in and take action to sell the property for property taxes that are due," Sullivan said.
This is the county's last ditch effort to collect money.
"We'll work with you. [We'll] get them on a payment plan, find out if they have exemptions. My goal isn't to post properties for sale. My goal is to collect property taxes," Sullivan said.
If you have questions or want to check on your Harris County tax bill, visit www.hctax.net.
Taxpayers can contact the Harris County office by phone at 713-274-8000 or email at firstname.lastname@example.org, if they have questions.