Commissioner of State Lands John Thurston presented a check representing 2011’s turnback funds to Van Buren County officials at the Courthouse in Clinton on Monday.

These funds stem from the redemption and sale of tax delinquent properties certified to the Commissioner of State Lands office.

"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," Thurston said.

"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," Thurston said.

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," Thurston said. "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."

Van Buren County received $175,242.95 in combined turnback funds during 2011. In total, Arkansas counties received $20.4 million from delinquent tax collections last year.