Tax bills were mailed Dec. 19 to Liberty County property owners, according to Tax Commissioner Virgil Jones.
“We’ve done all we can to assist them,” Jones said, referring to residents who want to pay their property taxes by Dec. 31 to qualify as deductions on their income taxes next year.
Taxes for real estate and business personal property normally are due in Liberty County on Dec. 1, according to libertygatax.com. Tax bills for mobile and manufactured homes are due on May 1.
“After the due date, for real estate and business personal property, interest at the rate of 1 percent per month is charged after Dec. 1,” states libertygatax.com. “Additionally, a penalty of 10 percent will apply to all taxes that are not paid within 90 days of the deadline; however, homesteaded property with a tax liability of less than $500 does not receive the 90-day penalty. If the property taxes remain unpaid, the tax commissioner has the right and responsibility to levy on the property for non-payment.”
Levies are considered a “last resort,” and the tax commissioner’s office is willing to work with taxpayers on collection.
“Tax bills are mailed to the homeowner, never to the mortgage company,” states the website. “You must forward your bill to your mortgage company if necessary.”
Jones told the Liberty County Commission in November he had hoped to get the bills out by Dec. 11. Last week, he informed the Courier that before bills went out, any possible errors had to be corrected. Jones said his office and the tax assessor’s office had to review exemption codes and parcel counts to ensure exemptions were properly applied.
“If a customer has one of the (Kemp, DeLoach, Williams) exemptions, they may see their bill be about the same or see a slight increase because of the 1.8 percent increase in taxable value,” he said.
Jones said taxpayers can come to his office and pay without a bill, if they so choose.
“We have some customers going online to pay,” he said. “The majority of mortgage companies are working with us to get (checks) in by the 31st.”
Jones said his office will be open next Monday and Dec. 30 and 31. He said if taxpayers’ mailed payments are postmarked by Dec. 31, they will get credit for having them in by the end of the year.
“We will be open until
4:45 p.m. on Dec. 31,” Jones said. “It’s in the best interest that we’re here.”
For more information, go to libertygatax.com or call 876-3389.