Roanoke City wants to start towing cars for delinquent property taxes

Published: Oct. 1, 2018 at 4:33 PM EDT
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If you don't pay your personal property taxes, the city is going to take action. The treasurer wants to start towing vehicles.

The treasurer says there are millions of dollars out there that the city's owed, and if you don't pay, they're done waiting around.

Spending lunchtime at city hall isn't Trudy Miller's idea of fun.

Trudy Miller, Paying Taxes, said, “Sometimes it gets a little hectic.”

She and many others were paying off their accounts.

“That's just life,” said Miller. “They have to be paid, they have to be paid.”

But not everyone does the same.

Evelyn Powers, Roanoke City Treasurer, said, “I have done everything I can to work with these people.”

Through a Freedom of Information Act Request, WDBJ7 found that the city is owed about $8.2 million dollars in personal property taxes. Soon, if people don't pay up, they're going to start towing cars.

“It's something we didn’t really want to get to doing,” said Powers. “But these are people who will not come down here and talk to us.”

She says they're going to target people who are more than two years delinquent first. The city will tow, store and eventually auction the car off if the owners don't pay.

“ We need that money to pay our police officers, our fire department, to pave your street,” said Powers.

Powers says it's all about being fair to those who do pay taxes. She's had enough, and wants to get those people paying their fair share.

“Call us,” said Powers. “Or we're picking up the vehicle.”

It's tough love, which is a plan that sits just fine with taxpayers like Trudy Miller.

Millers said, “That's the bottom line. I have to pay -- so do you.”

The city treasurer says if you call her office and get on a payment plan, they won't tow your vehicle. She hopes to get the program rolling by the start of next year.