Taxes can be a lifeline for local governments during tough economic times. So it may surprise you to learn some of their own aren't paying up.
Taxes are an expense almost no one wants to pay, but there's a silver lining knowing that money goes somewhere.
"Everything that functions in our county is paid for by our taxes," said John Clinebell, a Washington County, Virginia resident.
But we learned some of those reaping the benefits of the taxpayers of Washington County, Virginia aren't pulling their own financial weight.
County treasurer Fred Parker told News 5 about 140 county employees owe delinquent taxes, and about 105 of those are from the school system alone.
"If every tax payer in the county waited until their income tax comes in the next year, I wouldn't have enough money to pay teachers. I wouldn't have enough money to pay county employees," Parker told News 5.
Together we discovered the taxes owed add up to at least $100,000 of county money.
"I think before I go out and try to clean up anything else, I need to clean up our own house first," said Parker.
The treasury department sent out letters Friday afternoon telling employees they have until September 14 to come to the department to pay.
We found out Parker is willing to help those who need assistance come up with a short-term plan, but if the lines in the treasury department don't fill up soon with employees coming to reconcile their debt, the county won't give them tax money either.
If they don't do it by September 14, I will serve tax liens on the payroll departments, and that's when we do take the paychecks," Parker explained.
That's something that only seems fair for residents who pay for their service year after year.
"I don't like it at all. I think everyone needs to pay their taxes and on time," said Clinebell.
"I don't get [any] special treatment in my line of work, because of what I do, and I don't think it should go towards other people in the same aspect, I mean it ain't right," said Washington County, Virginia taxpayer Brad Ball.
Parker told us most of the taxes that are delinquent are real estate taxes and personal property taxes, but he also told us most people and employees in the county are very consistent in paying what's due.
Since many of these employees with delinquent taxes work for the school system, we did reach out to Superintendent Jim Sullivan. He told us he is very confident this will all be sorted out quickly, and they will be working with the treasury department closely.