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Hated mail: Tax bills go out

By Sherri Ellington Property tax bills have gone out in the middle of August, about a month earlier than last year, but the due date of Thursday, Nov. 15 remains the same. Interest on unpaid taxes kicks in on Monday, Dec. 3. Taxes that are not paid by the first week of March will be slapped with a $25 fi fa charge ‘“ which can end up on a taxpayer’s credit report for up to seven years ‘“ and a 10% penalty. Those who cannot pay in a lump sum should go to the tax commission office to contract a payment plan before the due date. Basically, those whose homes were revalued and the assessment went down will get smaller tax bills. Those whose values remained the same will see higher tax bills due to higher millage rates. Those who have not received their tax bills within the week should call the tax office at 770-358-5162 so a copy can be re-mailed. Last year some 200 bills came back undeliverable. In all, 9,159 tax bills were mailed, totaling $10,725,643.22. Of this, $70,477.14 goes to the state, $4,020,991.26 goes to Lamar County and $6,634,097.22 goes to the schools. Last year over 9,000 tax bills were mailed out by the tax commissioner’s office the week before Buggy Days. The 2012 net digest was okayed at $442,038,535. This number reflects the 40% taxable value on which the state, county, school and board base their property tax revenue, not the full value of all property in Lamar. By contrast, last year’s 40% digest was $511,315,856 as compared to $558,249,980 in 2010. Taxpayers can pay their taxes Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. in the office or via the drive-through or use the drop box after hours. Taxpayers can file for homestead exemptions at any time.

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