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Jacksonville tax delinquents owe $58 million

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Jacksonville, Florida, officials might have trouble keeping their lights on if some of the city's residents don't pay their delinquent tax bills. (Photo courtesy Visit Jacksonville)

Jacksonville, home to around 880,000 residents, is the largest city in the Sunshine State. It takes a lot of money to run a municipality of that size.

Some of its residents, however, have decided not to pay.

Their free ride, though, won't last for much longer.

$58 million unpaid: More than 35,000 people owe a combined total of $58 million in unpaid taxes to the city of Jacksonville, according to WJXT News4Jax.

That's almost 4 percent of the northeastern Florida city's population.

The television station reports that the bills range from $272,000 owed by a property management firm to about $24 owed on a sliver of land. The average unpaid bill is about $1,500.

If the owners don't settle their overdue tax bills, they could lose their properties.

Duval County's property seizure process takes two years, but the deadline for Jacksonville tax debtors to forestall it is coming up on May 25.

Mark your tax calendar: Property owners across the United States need to keep their eyes on tax-related deadlines.

In addition to the due date for any taxes to be paid, each jurisdiction also typically sets a deadline to protest the real estate appraisal that helps determine your eventual tax bill.

Knocking off a few dollars on your property tax, which for many folks is the largest state and local tax (SALT) they face each year, is particularly important now that the new tax law limits this itemized deduction to a total of $10,000.

Here is Travis County, Texas, the tax protest deadline is coming up next week.

Real property tax valuation appeal deadline notice_redacted company info

The hubby and I have been getting almost daily electronic and snail mail messages, like the postcard above, reminding us of the May 15 deadline. And suggesting we hire the companies sending the reminders to take care of our appeal.

First, file on time: Meeting that deadline, though, is the first, and key, step toward possibly reducing your property tax bill.

Once that's done, then you can do your homework and get ready to make your case — Lifehacker has a good step-by-step tax appeals article — that your property is not quite as valuable as the tax assessor thinks.

Or you can turn the task over to a firm specializing in the process.

Regardless of which route you choose, if you miss the appeals due date, all that solid data on why your property is overvalued won't do you any good. No matter how convincing your argument, you (or your hired tax protester) won't be allowed to present it to the appeals board.

So find out your area's tax appeals process and deadlines and file on time!

Or be prepared to pay a higher property tax price.

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