Hart: Expect property tax bill soon

Published 12:32 am Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Property owners can expect a bill from the Covington County Revenue Commissioner as notices for $11.29 million in ad valorem taxes will hit mailboxes this week.

Janice Hart, county revenue commissioner, said office workers have spent the better part of a week printing, organizing and making notices ready for delivery.

Property taxes are due beginning Fri., Oct. 1. Deadline to pay is Dec. 31.

Hart said the county would collect $11,286,371, which is a decrease of $74,046 from last year’s total collections.

“We lost some (revenue) because some utilities’ values went down,” Hart said. “That means that in the business/personal property category, some of those utilities depreciated. The state evaluates (that category and) gives us a list, which showed that figure was a little lower than last year.”

Hart said there are property tax exemptions available to those who qualify.

“There’s the homestead exemption, an exemption for the disabled and one for property owners over 65 that own and live on property,” she said. “Those who wish to apply must do so in the office.

“If it’s your property and you live on it, then you’re entitled to the homeowner’s exemption,” she said. “If you were to come in and apply for a homeowner’s exemption today, then you’d have to have owned the property and lived there since at least September 2009. If that’s the case, then you only pay 10 percent the assessed value of the property.”

Residents who receive a tax bill have until Dec. 31 to pay the property tax. If they miss that deadline, they are subject to a penalty fee. Taxpayers have two options in which to pay – they can either come to the courthouse or they return the payment through the mail.

The revenue commissioner’s office is open 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.”

Hart reminded residents that they should bring their bills 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.