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Tax Records are a good source for researching property history. The Washington County Archives houses the following records:

Delinquent Property Tax Records (1868-2000)

Delinquent real estate taxes were paid in the County Clerk's Office and said payments recorded in the Delinquent Real Estate Tax Record through 1979. Since 1980, payments have been paid in the Collector's Office and posted in that office's records. Delinquent personal taxes have always been paid in the Collector's Office. Since 1980, the County Clerk's Delinquent Tax Record has consisted only of a list of persons delinquent for real estate taxes and a list of persons delinquent for personal property taxes, neither of which includes postings.

Combined Personal Property & Real Estate Tax Records (1836-1867)

Between 1836-1867, Personal Property & Real Estate Tax Records were combined in 1 Tax Record Book. For the most part, these books are arranged alphabetically by Taxpayer's Names. After taxes were collected, each county routinely turned the tax book over to the Arkansas State Auditor in Little Rock. Surviving books from this time period were microfilmed by the Arkansas History Commission in Little Rock. The Fayetteville Public Library donated copies of the Washington County Tax Records on microfilm to the Washington County Archives in 2002. The following years are missing: 1839, 1850, 1857-1858, 1860, 1862-1865. (For reasons unknown to me, Washington County kept its 1866 Tax Record Book.)

Personal Property Tax Records (1868- 2001)

Personal Property Tax Records are very valuable documents. Unlike Real Estate Tax Records, which only list owners of real estate, Personal Property Tax Records make an attempt to list all heads of households of the county, whether or not they owned real estate.

The arrangement of Personal Property Tax Records changed over the years. To the best of my knowledge, books were compiled in the following manner:

1868: alphabetical by Taxpayer's Name
1869-1870: alphabetically within Township
1871-1876: alphabetically by Taxpayer's Name
1877-1929: alphabetically within Township
1930-1980: alphabetically within each School District
1981- : alphabetically by Taxpayer's Name

The following Personal Property Tax Records have been missing for several years: 1876, 1980 (part), 1981-1986

The following Personal Property Tax Records were badly damaged in a flood in 1996 and had to be discarded after microfilming: 1881, 1894, 1946-1948

Real Estate Tax Records (1868-1984)

After the 1948 tax season, Washington County discontinued using the large tax record books and developed in its place the unit tax ledger system. This consists of a series of ledger cards, each containing 10 to 12 years of tax payment information for one unique parcel of property. Like the books that preceded them, these cards are arranged by legal description through 1973. Beginning with 1974, the ledger cards are arranged by parcel number.

The following Real Estate Tax Records have been missing for several years: 1874, 1879, 1891

The following Real Estate Tax Records were badly damaged in a flood in 1996 and had to be discarded after microfilming: 1900, 1905, 1910, 1915B, 1920A-B, 1925A, 1930A-B, 1931A, 1932B, 1935A, 1940A, 1945A, 1946-1948

Last updated: 4/10/2012 10:37:34 AM