$461 million in unpaid property taxes are due to Cuyahoga County. There's another $15 in unpaid court costs on top of that.
When Ed FitzGerald's team looked at the numbers, they discovered that Cuyahoga County has a property tax delinquency rate of 15.2%. That, in a word, is high. Franklin County is at only 7.9%, Summit at 8.7%. With the wallets around the county bearing not much more than a Sears charge card and a couple of balls of lint, that $461 million could come in handy.
Yesterday, Team FitzGerald announced that he is forming a task force to address the problem, ideally to recover as much of the $461 million as possible, but at the very least, to bring that 15.2% number down. With property tax dollars earmarked for schools and libraries and those two groups hurting for dough, it's an admirable if not essential goal.
“Cuyahoga County has one of the worst property tax collection rates in the state. Improving it by just a few percentage points will net tens of millions of dollars for schools, libraries and cities at a time when they desperately need help,” FitzGerald said via a press release.
Amnesty will be on the table as an option for some of the delinquencies, so don't think Fitz is going to send henchmen to your door if you're being by $37, but we wouldn't rule that option out for those that owe thousands.
According to the PD, the Delinquent Tax Task Force will include: "The task force will include FitzGerald and other county officials; Shaker Heights schools Superintendent Mark Freeman; and representatives from a library district and other local government agencies." Also, if available, Dog the Bounty Hunter. But that depends on his schedule.
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