If you’re behind more than $1,000 in real estate taxes in Alexandria, everybody is likely to know about it soon.
The Alexandria City Council will decide on Tuesday whether to publicly post the names of delinquent real estate taxpayers owing more than $1,000.
The list of the top 20 delinquent taxpayers totals compiled for Council by city staff totals $835,148 in missing funds. It includes a homeowner with three parcels who owes the city more than $130,000 and a longtime Alexandria social club that owes more than $30,000.
Mayor Justin Wilson said that jurisdictions around the country publish such a list.
“My understanding from our Finance Department is that the prospect of publication of delinquency does frequently encourage taxpayers to address their past due balances,” Wilson told ALXnow. “Our ability to fund the services that the residents of our community expect and demand requires that all residents pay their fair share of taxes. We have a variety of relief programs available for those who have difficulty doing so, and we spend millions to fund those programs each year. In fact, this year, we have expanded those programs due to COVID impacts to support taxpayers experiences unemployment and underemployment.”
But City Councilman Mo Seifeldein would prefer that the names not be made public.
“As a general practice, I’d rather have these matters resolved internally without public input, but there’s a public interest in knowing who’s paying their fair share,” Seifeldein said. “I’ll have to read the code to see whether it’s permissible or required. If it’s permissible, then I think we should exercise discretion as to when we publish this and it should be a last resort, not the first.”
City Council will discuss the issue at its upcoming meeting on Tuesday at 7 p.m.