Land commissioner pledge | Arkansas Blog

Land commissioner pledge


Monty Davenport, in a runoff for the Democratic nomination for land commissioner, floats a proposal to streamline delinquent tax collection.


Today, Monty Davenport proposed a solution to alleviate the complexities that plague tax delinquent property transactions.  “The primary role of the Land Commissioner is to ensure the expeditious return of delinquent parcels to county tax rolls, thereby generating more revenue to fund essential county services, such as jails, roads and bridges, and most importantly, our public schools,” said Davenport, “and in order to accomplish this, the Land Commissioner, along with county officials, lending institutions and property owners must work together.”
Davenport continued, “At present, these parties are struggling with inconsistent property data and complicated channels of communication, making the process difficult and lengthy, putting our property owners and counties at a disadvantage.”   
Senate Bill 3217 is currently before the United States House of Representatives and includes a key provision that would create an early warning system by requiring mortgage holders to collect tax parcel identification numbers.  These tax parcel identification numbers are the very same numbers that County Collectors use to report tax delinquent property to the Commissioner of State Lands.
Using this system, Davenport proposes working with the Arkansas State Bank Department to create a centralized database to report foreclosures in real-time as properties become delinquent.  This will provide consistent data located in one place from which all parties can work from.  According to Davenport, “This plan will break down existing communication barriers, identify delinquent parcels earlier and afford the land owner the opportunity to keep their property, thereby generating more revenue for county programs”.
Davenport’s plan would also provide an added benefit to counties by allowing them to gauge potential negative revenue impacts when they are attempting to forecast county budget shortfalls.
“With foreclosures at an all time high and our state and counties facing budget crises, we need to do everything we can to ensure that we generate tax revenue for our schools and afford every opportunity for Arkansas families to keep their property.  I will work with Governor Beebe, the state legislature and our county officials to make Arkansas a leader in delinquent property collections,” said Davenport.

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