Property taxes arriving slowly

Published 11:59 pm Thursday, November 12, 2009

With only a month and a half left to go until the property tax collection deadline, Covington County has only received about 14.6 percent of its collections, revenue commissioner Janice Hart said Thursday.

This year, the county expects to receive approximately $11.36 million from taxpayers. As of Thursday, only about $1.66 million had been collected.

“It’s seemed to slow down considerably lately,” Hart said. “Right now, we’re not even a quarter of the way through. Usually around Thanksgiving you see a decrease, but this year it seems like collections have slowed down two weeks earlier than most years.”

The property tax collection period began on Thurs., Oct. 1 and will continue until Thurs., Dec. 31.

Hart added that some mobile home owners have only until Mon., Nov. 30 to purchase their registration.

“If you don’t come in and purchase a decal, there will be a late fee after Nov. 30,” she said. “This registration is for anyone who owns a mobile home, but it’s not situated on their own property.”

Hart said it’s not clear why collections have been slow this year, but she believes it could be due to the economy.

“Times are hard, so people might just be holding onto their money as long as they can,” she said.

Residents who miss the Dec. 31 deadline to pay their property taxes — either by mail or in person at the courthouse — will be subject to a penalty fee.

The revenue commissioner’s office is open during normal working days, Monday through Friday, from 8 a.m. until 5 p.m. Property owners who pay through the mail should send their bills and payment to “Revenue Commissioner, 1 North Court Square, Suite G, Andalusia, AL 36420.”