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Tax penalties kick in today

Lamar County property owners who have not paid their taxes will see penalties begin to kick in today. As of last week, the tax commissioner’s office had collected 74% of 2012 property taxes. ’This was compared to last year and we’re at the same rate,’ said tax commissioner Andrea Anthony. The total due for 2012 is $10,630,610.86. By Nov. 20, $7,863,581.78 had been collected, leaving a balance of $2,767,029.08. Of the total $70,477.14 goes to the state, $4,020,991.26 goes to Lamar County and $6,634,097.22 goes to the schools. Tax bills ‘“ 9,159 of them ‘“ went out in mid-August, about a month earlier than last year. Monday, Dec 3, those who have not paid their taxes will see 1% interest accrue on each delinquent bill and 1% on the 15th of each month thereafter. When a tax bill remains delinquent 90 days later a $20 fi fa, which goes on one’s credit report for up to seven years, and a 10% penalty is issued. In March the office began tax sale procedures on 610 delinquent accounts. Before the Thanksgiving break, there were only 19 properties still scheduled for the Dec. 4 tax sale. All 2012 property taxes were due Nov. 15 with a postmark/ grace period through Nov. 30, 2012. Like last year, in March 2013 all delinquent accounts will begin receiving letters and accumulating fees for the 2013 tax sale. Property owners can pay their taxes Monday through Friday, 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. in the office or use the drop box after hours. They can file for homestead exemptions at any time of year at the tax assessor’s office.

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