$766K in taxes are late

Published 12:26 am Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Delinquent property tax notices were sent out on Friday, and revenue officials say that $756,600 remains outstanding.

Chief Revenue Clerk Diane Thompkins said Tuesday that the total is all that remains in the $11.2 million of ad valorem taxes billed in October. Residents had until Dec. 31 to pay their balances without being assessed a penalty.

“We just mailed out delinquents, so that amount that is on the bill is good until February,” Thompkins said. “In March, we’ll send out certified notices, and the dollar amount due will increase when the $5 late fee goes to a $20 late fee. Plus, there’s a 3 percent interest that’s added to the bill, as well.”

Thompkins said that collections “were fairly good” throughout the collection period and that staff believes when the office begins accepting credit cards, the delinquent total will be reduced in coming years.

“We’re still in the process of allowing customers to pay their property tax bill with a credit card,” she said. “A lot of times, customers call in to pay their bill, and we have to tell them we can’t take a credit card over the phone or in person, that they have to mail their payment in – and that affects our bottom line in the end.”

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.