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$725K in property taxes still owed

At the end of the first full month of delinquent property tax collections, only $725,000 remains on the books, said Diane Thompkins, chief clerk of the Covington County Revenue Commission, Friday.

In October, the county billed more than $11.3 million in ad valorem taxes, also known as property taxes. That figure up $200,000 from 2008.

Collections began slowly and totalled $1.66 million in November; $2.77 million in December and finally, $8.9 million at the beginning of January.

“January was a very good month for collections,” Thompkins said. “Funds came in pretty good, and I would speculate to say, we’re in a better position – as far as collections go – than we were this time last year.”

Thompkins said that $725,000 represents taxes for 1,850 parcels of real property such as acreage and lots, and the remaining 650 parcels represents taxes for personal property, which includes items used to run a business such as calculators, computers and other related business equipment.

“We’ve had time to go through records and find all the property that was sold and make sure addresses were correct for new property owners, which is one of the things I think that has helped with our total,” she said.

Those who have yet to pay property taxes have until the end of February before being assessed additional late fees and costs, she said.

“When March comes, we add certified mail costs to the total and the fees for being late go up considerably,” she said. “In April, we advertise the delinquent tax sale, and in May, that property is sold.”

To get an exact balance for one’s property taxes, call the revenue commissioner’s office at 334-428-240. Payments by mail should be in the form of checks or money orders and made payable to “Revenue Commissioner” and mailed to Revenue Commissioner, 1 Court Square, Andalusia, AL 36420.