A Mid-State city has a huge backlog of delinquent property taxes and for the first time ever, it is going after the people who haven't paid.
Hundreds of homeowners and land owners in Mt. Pleasant haven't paid property taxes in years, some in decades, leaving the city without hundreds of thousands of dollars it could use.
The city is owed $195,000 in back taxes from 2002-2012, according to City Manager Michelle Williams.
Approximately, $300,000 is owed going back to 1989, but the city cannot collect unpaid taxes from that far back.
Legally, they can only go back 10 years.
Williams said she discovered the problem shortly after starting the job in 2012 and has been working on a plan to collect the money since then.
Last year, Mt. Pleasant city leaders passed a 25-cent property tax increase just to keep up with the rising costs of providing services. That tax increase brought in $171,000.
“The people that have paid their taxes got a 25-cent property tax increase and those that haven't got nothing,” said Williams. “It's not fair.”
The city had never sent out delinquent notices until last year when those who had not paid their property taxes received three notices letting them know they owed money.
It was the finance director's responsibility to collect the unpaid property taxes, according to Williams.
“Nothing had been done about it,” she said.
The previous finance director was terminated last year.
“The goal is whatever we don't collect to turn over to Chancery Court and take the proper legal procedures,” Williams told News 2.
Those who do not pay their property taxes could have their homes auctioned off.