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La Vergne posts names, amounts of delinquent taxpayers

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LAVERGNE, TN (WSMV) -

City property taxes in La Vergne make up $9 million of its $16 million budget, but each year hundreds of thousands of dollars go unpaid.

City leaders are fed up. Besides just sending out letters, letting folks know their taxes are overdue, they're now posting the names on a delinquency list on the Internet.

For the past two years, the names of hundreds of people, who to have not paid their property taxes, have been posted on the city's website.

"People tend to react when their names are published," said La Vernge Mayor Senna Mosley.

And it's working.

"We've gone from huge stack last year, to a much smaller stack this year," Mosley said.

This year about $256,000 is owed in unpaid property taxes, not including the other unpaid taxes that are part of a bankruptcy.

"I know that's not a large amount in the grand scheme of things, but we have departments that have extreme demands," the mayor said.

Chris Jayne, his wife and six children just moved to La Vergne.

"So far it's a pretty good neighborhood," Jayne said.

He is renting, and had no idea the taxes on the property hasn't been paid.

"Not knowing now what could possibly happen with him not paying the taxes. I wonder what will happen down the road with this house," he said.

His landlord, Amnon Shreibman, is one of the developers of the Lake Forest Subdivision, the largest in the state, with more than 3,500 homes.

He has over $106,000 in unpaid city property taxes on 419 homes, according to public records. He filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection last year. As part of the restructuring plan, he will get two years to pay, according to his attorney, Craig V. Gabbert, Jr.

There are several businesses on the list that are also delinquent.

BRE/TN Industrial Properties, on Heil Quaker Blvd., has yet to pay $24,456 in city property taxes.

City officials said even if you pay a monthly escrow to your mortgage company, doesn't necessarily mean the bill will be paid on time.

"If their names are on there, that's giving them a heads up that, their mortgage company is not doing their jobs, not paying the taxes," Mosley said.

The tax bills are sent out October 1, and the property owners have until end of February of the next year to pay without penalty. If they still haven't paid by April of the following year, the unpaid tax bill is turned over to Chancery court for collection.

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