A bill passed out of a legislative committee yesterday that would make it easier for counties to collect ad valorem taxes. A report last year found counties were missing out on over $50 million in delinquent ad valorem taxes, often due to bankruptcies.
Campbell County lost out on millions due to a bankrupt coal company. Its County Attorney Carol Seeger said this bill could have changed the situation by improving the collection process.
"Right now, there's that bonified creditor exception that trumps our tax lien. And this legislation, if passed, would give us a pathway to make our lien superior to that of even a bonified creditor," she said.
In other words, it forces the bankrupt company to pay back the county before its other creditors, like banks. Ad valorem taxes go to local funding including county services and education.