Ad valorem collections slowPublished 12:00am Saturday, November 24, 2012
Ad valorem collections have stalled, with a little more than 20 percent of the $11.2 million billed in October having been collected.
Diane Thompkins, chief clerk at the county revenue commission’s office, said the practice is not unusual for this time of the year.
“So far, we’ve gotten $2.7 million, so we have $8.5 million to go,” she said. “December is always a big month for us, especially the last week. My advice to those who haven’t paid is you should come in early in the month or even mail it in.
“And if you have concerns or questions, you’d better come now instead of waiting until the last week of the month,” she said. “It will be so busy then and the line will be long.”
Thompkins said next week is also the deadline to renew mobile homes without a fee.
She said as a reminder, the office is still unable to accept credit card or debit card payments.
“By law, (the office) is only allowed to collect what is due, which means we can’t collect a transaction fee (that most card machine companies charge),” Thompkins said. “It’s frustrating for us and for the customer, we know.”
There are property tax exemptions available to those who qualify, such as the homestead exemption and an exemption for the disabled and one for property owners over 65 that own and live on property.
“You do have present proof of income and your driver’s license when you apply,” Thompkins said. This applies to both the over 65 exemption and the disabled exemption.”
Previously, there was no income limit on the disabled exemption.
Those who wish to apply must do so in the office and bring a copy of last year’s tax return or an income statement from the Social Security Administration.
To qualify for the homestead exemption, property owners must have resided on the property since at least September 2011.
Residents who receive a tax bill have until Dec. 31 to pay the property tax. If that deadline is missed, there is a penalty fee.
The revenue commissioner’s office is open Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. until 5 p.m. When paying by mail, send the bill or bills and payment to “Revenue Commissioner, 1 North Court Square, Suite G, Andalusia, AL 36420.”
Residents paying in person should bring their bills with them to the courthouse, in order to expedite the process.
Property taxes are distributed to the school systems, the county’s general fund and road/bridge fund, among other areas.