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Cuyahoga County Unveils "Dirty Dozen" List of Delinquent Taxpayers
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CLEVELAND — As part of a broader effort to improve tax collections, the Cuyahoga County Fiscal Office today unveiled its first ever list of the county’s most delinquent property owners.
The new list
– nicknamed the “Dirty Dozen” by Fiscal Office staff – will be prominently displayed on a large white board on the first floor of the Cuyahoga County Administration Building, 1219 Ontario St., in Cleveland. The 12 owners currently on the list collectively owe more than $7.7 million to schools and local governments.
The goal of the new list is to bring additional scrutiny to some of the most egregious cases where property owners aren’t paying their taxes. It’s a matter of fairness, said Cuyahoga County Executive Ed FitzGerald.
“The vast majority of Cuyahoga County taxpayers play by the rules and pay their taxes on time,” FitzGerald said. “It’s unfair to law-abiding taxpayers when some are perpetually delinquent. We need to ensure a fair, level playing field for everyone.”
Property on the list will receive additional scrutiny by employees in the county treasurer’s office, which will eventually yield additional revenue for schools and local governments. The list – which county employees plan to update monthly – will also draw additional public attention to some of Cuyahoga County’s most egregious cases of unpaid taxes.
Wade Steen, Cuyahoga County’s fiscal officer, said he hopes more property owners will pay up before they reach the point of making the list.
“You don’t want to be on this list,” said Steen, who developed a similar list when he served as Franklin County treasurer from 2001-02.
The new “Dirty Dozen” list is part of a broader effort by the FitzGerald administration to improve property tax collections. At the beginning of the year, about 15 percent of property owners were delinquent, owing more than $400 million in taxes.
“If we could improve that rate by about 4 points, that would mean $100 million more for schools and other local governments, without raising taxes,” FitzGerald said.
County employees have also been taking a closer look at property tax credits and discounts to make sure they are only being claimed those who are eligible for them.
Last month, for example, the county identified about 700 limited liability companies that had been claiming a 2½ percent rollback on their property taxes despite not being eligible. By law, the discount is only available to individuals for their primary, owner-occupied residence. The LLCs are being asked to repay up to three years’ worth of rollbacks, plus interest. In many cases, a 10 percent penalty will also apply.
Cuyahoga County’s Top Tax Delinquencies (“The Dirty Dozen.”)
Cuyahoga County’s first “Dirty Dozen” list is below. This list was compiled by scanning the county’s delinquency files for large taxpayers and by combining multiple delinquencies of parcels owned by the same individual or business. Some property owners who owe large amounts are not included on this list because they are seeking a property tax exemption (and thus may end up not having any tax liability) or for other reasons.
|1. Parma Heights Land Development LLC
|2. 3420 E. 93rd Street Co.
|3. Bojack’s Meat & Poultry Inc.
|4. Mt. Olive Community Development Corporation
|5. Michael A. Eanes
|6. Faith Christian Center
|7. Cinema Park LLC
|8. Euclid Realty LLC
|9. G.Z.T. Inc.
|10. Posh Properties of East Cleveland LLC
|11. 1020 Bolivar LLC
|12. L. Gray Barrel & Drum Co.