According to the VLCT, the collector of delinquent taxes ensures that town property taxes are paid by all of the taxpayers of the town. It is the delinquent tax collector’s job to notify taxpayers when their taxes are overdue, to make arrangements for late payments, and to take formal collection actions, including conducting tax sales of the property, when necessary. Finally, it is the obligation of the collector of delinquent taxes to keep records of all delinquent accounts and to provide an accounting of these records to the locally elected auditors for inclusion in the annual report of the town.
The delinquent tax collector for the town may not also be a member of the selectboard or school board or hold the position of locally elected auditor (or be the spouse of the town’s locally elected auditor).
Delinquent Tax Collector
Within 15 days after the date on which payments are due, the treasurer must issue to the collector of delinquent taxes a warrant against the delinquent taxpayers in the amount of taxes remaining unpaid. This warrant remains in effect until all taxes on it are fully paid or otherwise discharged.
Delinquent water and sewer charges create liens against the property and can be collected in the same manner as delinquent property taxes.
Towns may vote on a warned article at town meeting to charge interest on overdue taxes. The amount of interest charged by a town may not exceed one percent per month for the first three months and one and a half percent per month thereafter. The statute also provides that interest must be applied to a fraction of a month as if it were an entire month. This means that if taxes are due on August 1, there will be a full one percent interest applied as of August 2, since that one day is a fraction of a month.
According to statute, the collector of delinquent taxes may charge a commission of 8% on the amount of the taxes owed. This commission is often referred to as the collector’s fee, or penalty. The collector of delinquent taxes has discretion to charge a commission from zero up to a maximum of 8%.