The number of La Plata County property owners delinquent on their taxes this year dropped for the third consecutive year.
A compilation of delinquency notices that appear in The Durango Herald today show that 825 property owners were behind $721,000 in tax and interest.
The same 16-page legal notice will run on Oct. 18 and 25.
Owners of 680 units of real property and 145 manufactured homes were delinquent on taxes this year. Those in the former category owe $700,000.
In 2011, 904 property owners were delinquent; in 2010, the number of delinquencies was 1,033 and in 2009, 1,201.
The Hermesman Family Partnership LLP owed by far the most $80,450 on two properties in Durango. Tax and interest on one totaled $37,773 and on the other, $42,677.
On the other end, at least a half-dozen property owners were 32 cents in arrears. Interest of 2 cents and other charges brought their total to $54.34 each.
La Plata County Treasurer Ed Murray said Wednesday it was anybodys guess why the number of delinquencies is dropping.
Murray said more property owners could have taxes included in their mortgage payment.
Mortgage companies will see that payments are on time while individuals may intend to pay, but they run into an emergency, Murray said.
Ed Morlan, executive director of the Region 9 Economic Development District of Southwest Colorado, said that foreclosures may have reduced the number of property owners in arrears.
Or, the economy may be getting better, Morlan said.