“The chancellor is actually the only one who can do that. You all can not actually vote to waive the penalties and interest,” Bradley County attorney Crystal Freiberg said.
There are two private roads in Bradley County with unpaid taxes from 2008 that could have been sold at the delinquent tax sale.
The Bradley County Commission has requested the roads not be included in the sale. At least three other roads are known to be in the delinquent on taxes category.
During a delinquent tax committee meeting Friday, committee members voted to have Freiberg request the chancellor waive the fees.
Committee chairman Jeff Morelock passed on voting because he owns land on a private road. There are more than 40 private roads in Bradley County, according to Freiberg.
A private roads is not owned or maintained by the Bradley County Road Department and does not meet county road standards.
“Most of them are current on their taxes,” Freiberg said.
When subdivisions are created the developer typically pays the tax on the private road until the project is completed and he is no longer involved with a subdivision.
The committee will also recommend to the full Commission that in the future the taxes for private roads be divided among property owners who use the road.
The amount will be included as part of the owner’s annual tax bill.
Freiberg said the only problem with this plan would be if one property owner did not pay their taxes, the road would be delinquent.
She said the chances of this happening were a lot less than the chances they would not be paid under the current model.
Committee member Bill Winters said forming a homeowner’s association would be a good way for residents to figure out how taxes were paid, as well as maintain the road.
“I don’t think you can force people to become a part of a homeowner’s association,” committee member Ed Elkins said.
Freiberg said Elkins was right.
“You can encourage it,” Winter said.
Notices have typically only been sent to one property owner by the assessor’s office even though all of the property owners use the road.
The committee also discussed whether the county should continue to allow private roads in future developments.
Elkins said he would like to see private roads still allowed as an option for families who want to divide property.
This issue will be given to the Bradley County Planning Commission and Road Department to discuss so it can give recommendations to the Commission.