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Tax bills out, collection office open Saturday
Virgil Jones1
Tax Commissioner Virgil Jones - photo by Courier file photo

The Liberty County Tax Commissioner’s Office will be open from 8 a.m. to noon Saturday, Dec. 29 to receive property tax payments only.
The special hours have been added to allow customers an additional opportunity to pay their taxes by Dec. 31.
Since the tax notices were recently mailed and the county offices were closed Monday and Tuesday for the Christmas holiday, the tax commissioner and his staff wanted to give taxpayers another chance to pay their taxes before the end of the year.
“Many property owners wish to pay property taxes by Dec. 31 to be sure these tax payments can be claimed on their 2007 income tax filings. Others desire to pay by the due date, which is Feb. 28, 2008. So, we wish to accommodate all those that we can,” Tax Commissioner Virgil Jones said.
Along with payments received in at the tax office by Dec. 31, payments can be mailed and postmarked by the Dec. 31 to be credited as paid before the end of the year.
A property owner with an escrow would need to call their mortgage company and request they send payment now. Otherwise, most mortgage companies simply plan to pay the taxes by the due date.
“One of greatest tools to use to make a payment is our online service. By logging on to a payment can be made by credit card, debit card and e-check and get credited the same day,” Jones said. “Mortgage companies can make their customer’s payments online as well. As far as fees are concerned, using a check to pay online is the most economical. With either of the payment types multiple bills can be paid in one transaction and only one transaction fee will apply.

“Making tax notices available in time to pay by the end of the year was much more challenging this year than prior years. Once all of the millage rates were set and the tax digest was approved by the state for billing, there were a number of problems encountered with the vendor that the county uses to consolidate the assessment data, and calculate, print and mail tax notices. This year, we dealt with issues pertaining to exemptions being applied properly to having our data formatted and files loaded in the manner necessary to begin receiving tax payments.
“There were a couple of instances where we received information to proof data before giving the okay to print and mail only to find out that something was applied improperly. So, each time the vendor had to go back and make corrections. In trying to achieve accuracy and completeness at the mercy of our vendor we had to settle for a later release of tax notices,” Jones said.
In the first few days of collections, some customers have questioned whether their Kemp, Deloach and Williams exemption has been applied to their tax notice. “What we have found is that it is being applied, but because of the way the tax notice is printed, it is not clear to many taxpayers how the exemption is being applied,” Jones said. “The tax notice currently shows the fair market value and the assessed value of the property, which are not KDW values, but the KDW exemption is reflected in having a higher than normal exemption shown on the tax notice.
“We will be happy to explain the application of the KDW or any exemptions to anyone that has a concern,” he said. 

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