Property tax collection at 15% mark

Published 1:24 am Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Only 15 percent of the more than $11 million in the county’s expected property tax revenue had been collected as of Thursday.

The collection period, which began Oct. 1, is more than halfway to its Dec. 31 deadline. Dianne Thompkins, chief clerk of the Covington County Revenue Commissioner’s office, said $1.785 million of the $11,157,314 has been submitted to the office.

“We started off really good this year (in collections),” Thompkins said. “It really has slowed down since then, but that’s usual for this time of the year.

“With the deadline set for Dec. 31, people generally try to hold on to their money for as long as they can,” she said. “Our biggest collections will come the last week of December.”

Thompkins also said residents who are required to pay mobile home registration fees should be reminded of the Nov. 28 deadline.

“Generally the registration fee applies to people who own a mobile home but not the land it’s sitting on,” she said.

“Like for someone who pays lot rent. Those mobile homes are required to be registered with the county.”

Residents can submit their payment in person or by mail; however, no matter how it’s remitted, payment must be received by Dec. 31 to avoid a penalty, Thompkins said.

“There is a 1 percent penalty and a $5 late fee charged to those who miss the deadline,” she said.

Additionally, now is the time to claim a homeowner’s exemption for any newly purchased property, she said.

To qualify, residents must have lived on the property for one year, and by claiming homeowner’s exemption, residents get a break on their property taxes by only having to pay 10 percent of the assessed value of the property.

Residents are encouraged to bring their property tax bills with them when making a payment.

“It is very helpful if you have your bill, because it has your account number on it,” she said. “We’ve had very long lines over the couple of days, and by having your bill, it really will expedite the payment process.”

The Revenue Commissioner’s office is located inside the Covington County Courthouse, and payments may be made by cash or check only.