Tax collections run slowly - WALB.com, Albany News, Weather, Sports

Tax collections run slowly

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By Jennifer Emert - bio | email

ALBANY, GA (WALB) – The deadline to pay your property taxes in Albany and Dougherty County has passed, and thousands of people didn't pay. Nearly 7,000 people are now delinquent, and they're about to get a notice in the mail. 

Officials in the property tax office say the number of delinquent payers has grown since 2007 when the recession started.

That  letter many may find its way into mailboxes as early as next week. It gives them 30 days to pay the taxes on their home of face penalties, or worse, a lien against their property.

Nobody likes to pay taxes, and many procrastinate.  "Oh yeah, you got to do it," said Corinthian Taylor.  Taylor waited until today to pay up, that's because this year, his bill is a little larger.

"Yeah, they did go up, quite considerably, more than I expected."

 He's not alone.  In the tax office, since payments have eased off employees, are folding, and folding, and folding, thousands of notices for delinquent property owners. As of December 31st the office had collected 86% of the taxes due.

This is the first warning to pay up, but if property owners don't. "We will start doing FIFA's which actually go on your, the clerk of court records, it is a lien against the property for those property taxes," said tax Collector Denver Hooten.

They'll get another warning, then if they still don't pay, the property is put up for sale. It affects the cash flow for both the city and county if people don't pay, and this year's digest is expected to be less than last year.

"There has been a reduction in a lot of the values so yes the digest has dropped some and it probably will do that again this year," said Hooten.

Having the bill paid is a weight off Corinthain Taylor's mind, and means no extra fines. "They can be very costly," he said.

 The earlier the better, not only that you can get it off your mind. Giving local government the money they need to keep providing services.

 While collections are only at 86% right now, the tax office expects when they're done, collections will be at 99% like they were last year.  Property owners have until February 20th to pay the bill for fines and penalties increase to 10%. For more information you can contact the tax office.

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