Who still owes?

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A vacant piece of land near the interstate is a prime spot for a new business, but nothing is happening with the property because of years of unpaid taxes and fees.

The former Red Carpet Inn site in Franklin has one of the largest unpaid property tax bills in the county at nearly $100,000. The site is one of about 5,000 properties in the county that have overdue taxes totaling close to $5 million.

A total of 94 percent of property taxpayers paid their bills this spring, down slightly compared with the percentage of people who paid in 2012 and 2011.

Eight properties, all of them current or former business sites, owe more than $50,000 each in back taxes and penalties including late fees.

That’s money that local governments, including the cities and towns, fire districts and libraries eventually can collect. But until owners pay the back taxes or the properties are sold in an annual tax sale, governments have to do without money that could be used to pay for salaries, utilities or new equipment.


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