Property owners owe $628K

Published 12:49 am Thursday, February 7, 2013

Time is winding down for those with unpaid property tax bills to avoid large penalties.

Chief Revenue Clerk Dianne Thompkins said some $628,000 in collections remained outstanding as of Monday.

“This is where we normally are at this time of the year, but residents should not wait to pay their bills,” Thompkins said. “Next month, in March, is when it’s going to get expensive.”

In October, the office billed $11.2 million in ad valorem taxes, or what is more commonly known as property taxes.

“In March, that’s when we start sending certified letters to those who have not paid their property tax bills, and the fees go up a lot,” Thompkins said. “Right now, one must pay the outstanding base amount, 2 percent interest and a $5 late fee. In March, that goes up to 4 percent and a $20 late fee. In April, the fee increases to $25. In May, it increases to 5 percent interest and a $25 fee.”

Properties with unpaid ad valorem taxes by the end of May are sold on the courthouse steps. No date for that sale is set, Thompkins said.

The revenue commissioner’s office is open Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.

When paying by mail, property owners should 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. Thompkins said, as a reminder, the office is still unable to accept credit card or debit card payments.