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Tax burden hits home

By Rachel McDaniel Many Lamar County citizens have received their 2015 tax bill and the net digest to be collected this year will be $13,202,428, compared to the $12,736,509 collected last year. There are 1,142 parcels of personal property listed this year, up from 1,091 last year and the 2015 real property count is 9,188, down slightly from the 9,194 last year. ’With the increase in our mill rate and some values, this year’s digest has increased by approximately $465,919. Our real property counts were only down by 6 and the personal properties were up by 51 accounts,’ said tax commissioner Andrea Anthony. The county will have $4,956,307 collected in taxes this year, up from the $4,469,207 collected by the county last year. The school will have $7,336,164 collected, down slightly from the $7,349,659 collected by the school last year. The amount collected for school bond debt is slightly higher at $882,938, compared to $878,305 last year. The tax commissioner said the average property tax bill saw an increase of $50 or less. For example, an average home with a FMV of $100,000 will pay on 40% of the value, minus any exemptions such as the regular homestead exemption, for a total increase of $35.34. Lamar County tax bills were mailed out Friday, Sept. 18 with some citizens receiving them as early as Sept. 19, according to tax commisisoner Anthony. ’We have already had a good number of citizens coming in to pay and to make contract arrangements to pay their taxes,’ she said. Property taxes are due Nov. 20 and they must be paid in full by Feb. 29 to avoid penalties. Interest will be added to tax bills Dec. 1 at the rate of 1%, then on the Dec. 21, another 1% will be applied. After that, each month on the 21st, a 1% interest fee will be added. After being delinquent for 90 days, a tax bill receives a $20 FiFa, which can remain on a credit report for 7 to 10 years, a 10% penalty and a letter giving notice to begin tax sale collections in March. ’Our office does offer payment plans but these arrangements must be made by Dec. 18,’ said Anthony. ‘All balances must be paid in full by Feb. 29, 2016.’ The office accepts credit cards with a 2.5% convenience fee (minimum of $2) and debit cards with a flat fee of $2.

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