Unpaid bills for mowing private properties coul fall on taxpayer - Action News 5 - Memphis, Tennessee

Unpaid bills for mowing private properties could fall on taxpayer

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A map shows 214 private properties in unincorporated Shelby County have been mowed since May of this year. But only a handful of property owners have paid the bill. A map shows 214 private properties in unincorporated Shelby County have been mowed since May of this year. But only a handful of property owners have paid the bill.
Renee Rockie More says the property at 5046 Brechenwood was torn town not long ago after a fire destroyed it. Renee Rockie More says the property at 5046 Brechenwood was torn town not long ago after a fire destroyed it.

(WMC-TV) - Shelby County workers eventually take care of un-mowed and unkept properties, but it is not coming at a cheap price to taxpayers.

A map shows 214 private properties in unincorporated Shelby County have been mowed since May of this year. But only a handful of property owners have paid the bill.

The Action News 5 Investigators zoned in on one problem spot in Northaven. 

According to the Shelby County Attorney, thirteen properties on Breckenwood Drive have been billed as much as $375 dollars for cutting grass and clearing yard debris, which dates back to May.

The bills remain unpaid by the property owners.

Walter Mathis with the Shelby County Trustee's Office was hanging signs along the drive Friday.

"I'm here to hang up signs to let them know that the property is getting ready to be sold in a tax sale January 6," he said.

Properties to be sold include all four houses on the same list of unpaid bills from county cleanup. The same homes that neighbors file complaints about all the time.

Renee Rockie More says the property at 5046 Brechenwood was torn town not long ago after a fire destroyed it. According to More, the owner right next door at 5056 died and no one is keeping up the property.

"I would like to get that tree cut down though if they aren't paying to get the grass mowed. I'm sure they won't get paid for the tree," said Moore.

As for the other 200 properties, listed throughout the county officials say liens are placed on every property that does not pay a bill within 30 days. That is supposed to ensure that a bill eventually gets paid before a property sale.

So far the county has spent $180,000 to clear properties thanks to money for an anti-blight program funded by a Wells Fargo lawsuit.

When and if the owners repay the bills then the money will go back into the program. In the case of properties with a green sign posted, if it's sold in a tax sale, the minimum bid will cover taxes and liens.

If not then taxpayers will be responsible for the bill.

County property taxes are due in February, and county officials hope owners pay up by then. In the meantime the city says they have thousands of unpaid bills for mowing private properties.

Click here to see an interactive map of unpaid bills at private properties.

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