Property taxes due

Published 1:00 am Friday, October 4, 2013

If it hasn’t already arrived, don’t worry – the bill is in the mail.

One’s property bill, that is.

Revenue Commissioner Janice Hart said Thursday that the county has billed $11,202,369 in annual property taxes. Hart said the bills were mailed on Sept. 30, and many locals should’ve received their bill by now.

“We mailed out everything – including mobile home statements and over 65 exemption forms,” Hart said.

Hart said the county has already collected $71,435 since Oct. 1.

The amount billed is down slightly – $30,000 – from last year’s total, figures show.

Hart said the office is still unable to accept credit card or debit card payments – despite attempts by county administrator to put the practice into place.

“They worked to get things going, but it’s not online yet,” she said. “We know that will be a great benefit to customers once it’s up and running.”

There are property tax exemptions available to those who qualify, such as the homestead exemption and an exemption for the disabled and one for property owners over 65 that own and live on property. Those who wish to apply must do so in the office.

To qualify for the homestead exemption, property owners must have resided in the property since at least last September.

If one qualifies, one must 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 that deadline is missed, there is 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. When paying by mail, send the bill or bills and payment to “Revenue Commissioner, 1 North Court Square, Suite G, Andalusia, AL 36420.”

Residents should also 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.