The organization Local Options for Kentucky’s Liens is holding three clinics in Louisville to help homeowners address their delinquent property taxes.
The clinics will feature a wide range of resources for homeowners, including representatives from the Jefferson County Attorney’s office and information about Homestead and Disability Exemptions. Last year nearly 14,000 property owners in Jefferson County were delinquent in paying their taxes and over 3,000 of these delinquent bills were sold to third party investment companies.
Local Options spokeswoman Jane Walsh says unpaid tax liens exist across Louisville, but hit certain demographics disproportionately.
“There is a concentration of unpaid tax liens in areas where the population is poorer, in areas where the population is older and in areas where minority populations live. In neighborhoods in other words where the property value is declining anyway we see more unpaid tax liens,” she says.
Third party collectors are also allowed to charge a 12 percent interest rate on the debt as well as fees and penalties, which means a relatively small overdue payment can quickly balloon.
“You can get into a really deep hole really fast,” says Walsh. “When you talk to our partners at legal aid they are typically working with very poor, typically older homeowners who maybe a spouse died and they had never paid taxes before and missed a payment. And that $300 bill gets sold and they’re in a heap of trouble.”
Two clinics will be held at the Shively Community Center at 1902 Park Road on Thursday beginning at 11 a.m. and a third is scheduled at the Northwest Neighborhood Place on July 5 beginning at 5 p.m.