JACKSONVILLE, Fla.-- Action News uncovers some of the biggest tax evaders in Duval County.
Most people just shelled out money to pay their property taxes, but not everyone thinks they have to pay the bill. Action News asked the tax collectors office for a list of how much money people owe in outstanding taxes. We were given a list that dates back to 2007 and totals about $12 million.
"It's definitely upsetting. I have no words for it," said taxpayer Marquita James.
"It should be very concerning. We're having to raise taxes, and not paying, they should be out collecting," said taxpayer Paul James.
But as we found out, collecting isn't easy. One property on the Westside is abandoned. The owner is on the top 10 list for 2007 and 2008 and owes more than $7,000. That's not the only one. We obtained a list showing the top 10 offenders in the past six years.
The tax collector's office tells us if the bills go unpaid for more than seven years, the city loses out on those taxes as long as the property isn't in bankruptcy or any kind of litigation.
Of that $12 million outstanding, some of it is tied up in bankruptcy court. It could be months or years before that money is ever paid back.