DAYTON, Ohio (WDTN) — Officials are concerned after Montgomery County was ranked number one in the nation for foreclosures.

However, the Montgomery County treasurer gave some good news recently in the county’s efforts to lower the number of parcels of land that are tax delinquent.

The progress has been steady as Montgomery County led in foreclosures during the housing crisis of 2008, according to Dayton mayor Jeffrey Mims, Jr.

Under Ohio law, once a property is certified delinquent if nothing has been paid on the property for a year, the foreclosure process begins.

In Montgomery County, they have made progress to lower their delinquent properties, but further progress remains.

In 2021, there were 28 thousand tax delinquent properties in Montgomery County.

A year and a half later, that number is down to 17 thousand. While it’s a sign of improvement, Montgomery County treasurer John McManus says for every delinquent property, the bills keep coming.

“Whether a property has been vacant or available for 10 years, 20 years, 30 years, the tax bills do not stop,” McManus said.

Of 66 thousand parcels of property that are taxable in Montgomery County, 55 thousand are current on their bills. 11 thousand remain not current on their bills.

75 percent of the whole county’s tax delinquent parcels are in the city of Dayton. The treasurer’s office has implemented programs to help.

“How do you collect delinquent dollars? Number one, better communication with property owners, letting them know that you’re delinquent or we have options for you, but we also expect you to work towards paying off your balance,” McManus said.

McManus also said residents can acquire properties to make their communities better.

The Depositor Foreclosure Program helps citizens identify a property that needs foreclosed, then helps them start the foreclosure process.

An expediated process fast tracks the foreclosure, and eventually the parcel of land goes into the hands of the municipality rather than public auction.

Mayor Mims said he is optimistic given the recent progress, and he hopes residents will utilize the programs to keep generating tax dollars for the city.

“So, that help us do the kind of things that we need to do as far as creating the best life that we can for the citizens of Dayton,” Mims said.

It’s not just about the look of the properties but the impact financially when property taxes are not paid. 57 percent of all property taxes goes towards schools across Montgomery County.