HUNTSVILLE — When Mike Potter purchased the tract of property in Helenwood where he would ultimately build a new home, he was aware that there were back-taxes owed on the property. What he didn’t know was that he would one day be the person responsible for collecting delinquent taxes that are owed to Scott County.

Potter, the county’s Clerk & Master, said the amount of back taxes he had to pay on the parcel of property he purchased almost made the property cost-prohibitive.

“I said, why has this been allowed to go so long without the taxes being collected? Why has this property not been auctioned by now?” Potter said.

That Helenwood tract of property was part of an ongoing problem in Scott County — one that has drawn an increasing amount of ire from taxpayers in recent years: unpaid property taxes that were going uncollected, sometimes until they fell off the books and became unrecoverable.

“I just had to write off the 2005 delinquent taxes,” Potter said. “And when I did it, I said, ‘This will not happen again.’”

Potter, who gave up the title of self-employment when he was appointed by 8th Judicial District Chancellor Elizabeth Asbury to the role of Clerk & Master, has become the face of Scott County’s efforts to collect unpaid back-taxes. It is not necessarily a role he relishes; “I prefer to stay hidden behind the scenes,” he said. But, he adds, it’s time for Scott County’s unpaid property taxes to start being collected.

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The complete story can be found in the August 24, 2017 print edition of the Independent Herald.