The people of Cleburne County were gifted with a reproduction of an historic plat map of the original township that the current county seat and courthouse are located on Thursday. Commissioner of State Lands John Thurston presented the map. The original map was created sometime between 1815 and the mid-1850s during the time when survey teams were busy mapping out the Louisiana Purchase.
“It is my desire that our office continues to do its part in preserving the past so that our children and grandchildren can learn about Arkansas land history,” said Thurston. The map reproduction will be on display for the public to see in the Cleburne County Courthouse in Heber Springs.
Thurston’s office also presented a check representing 2012's turnback funds to County officials. These funds stem from the redemption and sale of tax delinquent properties certified to the Commissioner of State Lands office.
The Commissioner's tax delinquent real estate sale for Cleburne County is scheduled for lpm on Wednesday, August 28th at the Heber Springs Community Center. Owners of delinquent property are encouraged to redeem their property before it is offered at sale. First, they must contact Commissioner Thurston's office to request the proper paperwork, and then pay all delinquent taxes, penalties, and interest due. Prospective buyers may also contact his office for more information on buying tax delinquent land, or visit their website at www.cosl.org.
"Once properties are redeemed by the original owner or sold at public auction, the funds collected are forwarded to the county, where the property is located, one year after.the collection date,” said Thurston. "The good news is that most of the revenue we collect is through the redemption of delinquent parcels by the original owner. Property taxes play a vital role in the stability of county revenues. Public schools and county services depend on real estate tax dollars to aid in funding their programs. Without these funds our communities may miss out on essential programs and growth.”
The Commissioner's office works with county officials in all 75 counties to ensure collection of property taxes. "Our county officials are the boots on the ground workers in this process. We appreciate all that they do and we would not have collected these turnback amounts without working hand in hand with them on a daily basis," said Thurston. Cleburne County received $199,226.76 in combined turnback funds during 2012. In total, Arkansas counties received $21 million from delinquent tax collections last year.