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Clinic to help delinquent city taxpayers

The fifth of six scheduled tax clinics to assist Memphians delinquent in paying their city property taxes will be held from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m., Saturday, Oct. 13 at the Ed-Rice Frayser Community Center at 2907 N. Watkins.

The clinic – sponsored by City Councilman Lee Harris (District 7), Linebarger Goggan Blair & Sampson, LLP, the law firm charged with collecting delinquent city taxes, and the City of Memphis Treasurer's Office – is designed to help property owners better understand the tax process and to work with delinquent taxpayers to develop a plan to pay their delinquent taxes.

In Memphis, municipal property taxes are due June 1 of each year and become delinquent after August 31.

"Our goal is to work with taxpayers to find a way to pay their delinquent taxes,''said Melissa Palo, the law firm's managing attorney in Memphis.

Since the tax clinics began in March, Linebarger Goggan Blair & Sampson successfully has assisted 120 taxpayers, with most taxpayers placed on a payment plan designed to prevent their property from being forced into a tax sale.

Anyone planning to attend the clinic to discuss property tax issues should bring a tax bill, a recent letter from the Linebarger law firm, or their account (parcel) number. Those interested in attending should call 901-260-4058 to reserve a seat.

"As tax collectors, we understand that there's a personal reason why each delinquent taxpayer is behind in paying his or her property taxes. We're here to try and help them find a way to pay their taxes and become current,'' Palo said.

In November 2011, delinquent taxpayers received their final notice from the City of Memphis to pay their 2010 taxes or face being sued. After taxes become 17 months delinquent, state law requires the City of Memphis to file a lawsuit for collection of all delinquent land taxes.

On Feb. 1, the Linebarger firm filed a lawsuit on behalf of City of Memphis, including 18,144 real property accounts, to collect more than $20 million in delinquent 2010 taxes owed to the City of Memphis.

One more clinic is scheduled for this year. It will be from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. on Nov.10 at the Orange Mound Community Center at 2572 Park Ave.

For more information, contact: Melissa Palo at 901-528-1844.

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