Hidalgo Co. $26M in Delinquent Property Taxes Since 1996
EDINBURG – Property owners in Hidalgo County have until Wednesday to pay their taxes. There are penalties to those who pay late. The county faces repercussions too when debts are ignored.
There are millions of dollars’ worth of delinquent accounts who failed to pay property taxes. The Hidalgo County Tax Assessor Collector's Office is encouraging people to avoid this fate.
Property owners deal with a couple of elbows and long winding lines to pay their taxes on time.
Every year, Veronica Moreno pays early to avoid the consequences of delinquent accounts turned over to county attorneys.
Tax Assessor-Collector Paul Villarreal explains attorneys will try to reach out to delinquent property owners.
He warns, "If you do not contact them, they're going to exhaust all the ways to get a hold of you. And then they may file a lawsuit, and then at the same time they might even sell your property at the auction."
Villarreal says many ignored accounts contributed to the county's $26,208,079 delinquent debt accumulating since 1996.
So far this year, $120 million, or 57 percent of accounts, are paid off; $74.5 million is still pending. The deadline is Jan. 31.
Pay a day late and a penalty of six percent and an interest rate of one percent will be added. It gets worse with time.
Villarreal said, "The longer you stay behind, the more penalties you're going to accumulate."
For property owners like Moreno, there's no better time than the present.
"It's better to pay everything on time," she said.
The money, in the end, goes back to taxpayers in the form of services.
The tax assessor-collector says if you're not able to pay the full amount, they can consider setting up setting up payments.
He also says if you are a property owner and didn't receive your tax statement, visit their office before Jan. 31 to receive your total. Otherwise, you could face penalties.
The county will be open late Wednesday, Jan. 31 only at the Edinburg main office and the McAllen substation. Their doors will be open until 7 p.m.