During this time of the year, my office becomes extremely busy with current year property tax billing and collecting. Property owners reach out to us as early as September requesting tax bill information for the current year, partly because other counties issue tax bills much earlier in the year and also because many homeowners and businesses wish to have their taxes paid by the end of the year for income tax purposes.
In order to bill property taxes for the year all millage rates must be adopted by the taxing agencies. The county’s final millage rate was adopted Nov. 5th. Once the final millage rate is adopted, I then make an appointment to present to the Department of Revenue our digest for approval. My appointment with the DOR was Nov. 7th. We received our approval or Digest Collection Order on Nov. 14. Once the collection order is received we perform a number of processes that takes about 2 weeks to accurately and properly calculate and issue tax bills.
We officially placed the new tax bills in our system for collection on Nov. 22nd. We immediately began issuing tax notices as property owners requested them. A property owner can also go to our website and access their bill, print a copy, or pay it online. We are currently waiting for our vendor to print and mail approximately 26,058 tax notices. The final due date to pay 2019 property taxes is January 31, 2020.
This year property owners will receive a tax notice with a very different look. I believe the new bill format is much easier to understand and it adds much more useful information that should benefit taxpayers. For the first time there is a back page to the tax notice that has what I believe to be good, helpful information. If anyone has questions about 2019 property taxes before or after they receive their tax notice my staff and I are eager to assist.
Virgil M. Jones
Liberty County Tax Commissioner