Mesa County to write off over $200,000 in unpaid property taxes

Mesa County commissioners are expected to approve a resolution that will cancel thousands of dollars in uncollectible personal property taxes from several businesses that have either closed or become unreachable. The total amount of taxes to be written off is $217,538.61, which represents a small fraction of the county’s annual revenue.

What are personal property taxes?

Personal property taxes are taxes levied on movable assets such as equipment, furniture, machinery, and vehicles that are used for business purposes. These taxes are different from real property taxes, which are taxes on land and buildings. Personal property taxes are assessed by the county assessor and collected by the county treasurer.

Why are some personal property taxes uncollectible?

According to the county treasurer, some personal property taxes become uncollectible when the businesses that owe them cease operations, relocate, or change ownership. In some cases, the businesses may file for bankruptcy or liquidation, making it impossible to recover the taxes. In other cases, the businesses may be unreachable or unresponsive to the county’s attempts to collect the taxes.

Mesa County

The county treasurer has the authority to cancel uncollectible personal property taxes after they have been delinquent for one year. The cancellation of these taxes does not affect the county’s budget, as they are not included in the revenue projections. However, the cancellation of these taxes requires the approval of the county commissioners, who must pass a resolution to authorize the write-off.

Which businesses are affected by the resolution?

The resolution that the county commissioners are set to approve on Feb. 27 will cancel personal property taxes from five businesses that have been delinquent for various years, ranging from 2015 to 2023. The businesses and the amounts of taxes to be canceled are as follows:

  • Sports Authority: $22,191.51
  • Xtreme Turbo Inc.: $3,221.47
  • The Bon Ton Dept.: $42,954.04
  • Alanco Energy Services: $102,659.37
  • Fram Americas: $46,512.22

The resolution states that the county treasurer has determined that these businesses have closed, or the owners are unreachable, and that the taxes are uncollectible. The resolution also states that the cancellation of these taxes will not affect the county’s financial statements or budget.

What is the impact of the resolution?

The resolution to cancel uncollectible personal property taxes is a routine administrative action that the county commissioners take every year. The impact of the resolution is minimal, as the amount of taxes to be written off is a small percentage of the county’s total revenue. According to the county’s 2024 budget, the county expects to collect $29.7 million in property taxes, of which $27.9 million are from real property and $1.8 million are from personal property. The taxes to be canceled represent about 0.7% of the personal property taxes and 0.01% of the total property taxes.

The resolution also does not affect the county’s ability to provide essential services to its residents. The county’s 2024 budget allocates $165.9 million for various expenditures, including public safety, health and human services, public works, and capital projects. The county’s budget is balanced, with revenues exceeding expenditures by $1.2 million.

The resolution is expected to pass unanimously by the county commissioners, who will hold their weekly meeting at 9:00 a.m. in the public hearing room at 544 Rood Ave. in Grand Junction.

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