Commissioner of State Lands John Thurston presented a check representing 2012's turn back funds to Jackson County officials at the Courthouse in Newport last Thursday.

The funds stem from the redemption and sale of tax delinquent properties certified to the Commissioner of State Lands office. The Commissioner's tax delinquent read estate sale for Jackson County is scheduled for 1 p.m. Tuesday, August 21, at the Chamber of Commerce building in Newport. Owners of delinquent property are encouraged to redeem their property before it is offered at sales. 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 Thurston said, "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." Commissioner Thurston and his office work diligently to collect this important source of revenue on delinquent parcels. "The good news is the 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," said Thurston. 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 turn back amounts without working hand in hand with them on a daily basis," said Thurston. Jackson County received $68,490.30 in combined turn back funds during 2012. In total, Arkansas counties received $21 million from delinquent tax collection last year.