County to help those behind on property taxes

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Sanders County Treasurer Nichol Scribner wants to help people keep their mobile homes.

Once a taxpayer falls behind on property taxes, it can seem an impossible task to get caught up. But the consequences of falling too far behind can include legal action, and eventually, the possible loss of your home.

Scribner emphasizes that there are a lot of options available to help people who are delinquent on their taxes to get caught up and out of that stressful situation. You just need to act when you receive a delinquency notice, not ignore it.

Sanders County relies on property taxes to fund everything from road maintenance and law enforcement to cemeteries and libraries. Without that revenue, services must be cut. It is Scribner’s job to ensure taxes are paid and accurately accounted for.

“Sanders County has an epidemic of delinquent ‘Mobile Home’ & ‘Personal Property’ taxes. (Personal property includes such things as heavy equipment and tractors.) We are working hard to get a handle on these outstanding bills and get things cleaned up,” says Scribner.

“As part of this process, I want to reach out to Mobile Home & Personal Property taxpayers to contact me as soon as possible. We have some flexibility to get payment plans in place. There are options for people who are on low or fixed income and veterans. And even if you do not fall into one of these categories, I will work with you on payment plans,” Scribner says. “I am happy to help fill out paper work. My preference is to take care of these prior to taking additional steps with law enforcement to collect.”

In the next few weeks, says Scribner, “Any taxpayer with outstanding Mobile Home and/or Personal Property tax over one year past due, who has not been in contact with the Treasurer’s office to make arrangements, will receive a letter of delinquency. You will have 30 days at that point to pay in full or set up a payment plan with me.”

Scribner is trying reach out to help people prevent legal action against them. Several people have already stopped in for assistance, she says.

“If you do not have some payment agreement in place by that 30-day mark, you will receive notice that a Writ of Execution will be served, and the county will begin the collection process.” She wants to do anything she can to help people avoid that.

Mobile home owners need to be aware they can inadvertently find themselves in a delinquent situation even if they think they have paid their taxes.

“Mobile home tax liability follows the mobile home,” says Scribner. “Therefore, if you purchased a mobile from someone and did not verify that the taxes were paid in full — that tax debt becomes yours. My recommendation is before you make a mobile home purchase, especially pre-1977, you call or come into the Treasurer’s office to verify the taxes have been paid, as a protection to your liability.”

Scribner adds, “If you feel you have received a Mobile Home or Personal Property tax bill in error, or if you have sold, removed or destroyed a mobile home and still received a bill contact me immediately.”

The Treasurer’s Office can be reached at the Sanders County Courthouse or by calling 406-827-6922 to set up an appointment.

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