Response from county

Hey Everbody,

I got a response from an email I sent a county. I want to know what do y’all think of their response and would you consider this, if it were you. Below is their response:

Mr. Johnson,

We do not have a report of the nature requested available in our office. We can, however, provide a delinquent taxpayer list and an export of our CAMA data that will allow you to research the information you have requested.

If you would like us to research the information in the format you’ve requested - we can provide this service at the rate of $35/hour for development.

Please complete the attached form.


Franklin County Tax Office

Has anyone paid by the hour before, or do you see a “milking” about to happen, if I do it? Another county said a $100. That’s fine. I don’t want to end up with a $1000 bill because it took, the by the hour county, a long time to prepare the list.

Thanks for any replies in advance.

@carolinajay a few possible things could be happening here.

  • They may not understand what you’re really asking for.
  • You may not be talking to the right person (this list is usually very easy to get IF you’re asking the right person who knows how to generate it). Usually, when I get these kinds of responses (or if someone tells me it can’t be done), it’s a sign that I haven’t gotten to the right person yet (usually someone in the county’s IT department).
  • It could be that they want you to go away, and this kind of response is usually effective at doing just that.

I’ve never paid for a list like this before. It’s always been very clear what the cost would be upfront, based on how many parcels are on the list, because they charge on a per parcel basis, not an ambiguous number of hours like this.

You could try calling them back and asking for someone else… but it may not be worth that.

If it were me, I would probably move on to a different county until I found one that makes the process easier (and that’s assuming I decided to bother with the delinquent tax list at all).

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@retipsterseth Thanks, Seth. I’ll move on. The county that charges the $100 flat fee seem like they know what’s going on. They have their own letter of instruction, called a Data Request Form, for you to fill out so they can give you, exactly, what you want. I’m looking to send to mulitiple counties again, but send out more mail this time. That county was around a major area here in NC so I wanted to try them out, but there are others.

@retipsterseth This county sent this for free:

PLease find attached the delinquent vacant land file.

This file shows each year the amount owed, account and parcel numbers, legal descriptions and mailing addresses. Foreclosures at the attorney are excluded and collection codes are included for your info.

Mailing address is highlighted.

A-They have Payment Agreement
F-Foreclosures pending at attorney
G, R and K -collections actions
U-Undeliverable as addressed W-Working toward foreclosure-but not at attorney yet.

This will give you enough information to view on our website.

If you have questions-please call. It can be hard to explain columns by email.

They did a real good job for free! At some point, I may stop by there with donuts and coffee, or something. With covid going on, I don’t know if I can do this or not, though.

@carolinajay wow, nice! Sometimes the cards just fall your way. I’ve heard of counties giving out this info for free, but I’ve rarely been lucky enough to find those in my areas. Good job sticking to it!