Today is the deadline for Columbia County property owners to pay their property taxes.
“It’s going very well,” Tax Commissioner Kay Allen said of the stream of payments her offices in Evans and Appling are receiving.
Allen said more than 90 percent of taxpayers make the annual November deadline. As of Nov. 7, about 73 percent of property owners had paid.
Allen said, however, that there have been some warning signs that a larger than typical number of taxpayers might miss the deadline this year.
“We are having some calls by people unable to pay, but we’re encouraging them to pay something,” she said. “We’re encouraging them to have it all paid by Valentine’s Day before the 10 percent penalty attaches.”
Those who miss the tax deadline must start paying a 1 percent penalty fee per month on the unpaid balance. After 90 days, a 10 percent penalty is added to the 1 percent already imposed.
If a property owner continues to not pay taxes, the tax commissioner can impose a lien on the property.
Payments can be made in person from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. today at the tax office in the Evans Government Center, 630 Ronald Reagan Drive, Building C. The Appling tax office, 1959 Appling Harlem Highway, will accept payments from 9 a.m. until 6 p.m.
Drop boxes are available at the government center near Building A and Building C. Payments can be made by phone, (706) 261-8299, or online, www.columbiacountyga.gov, but Allen warns that credit companies charge $3 and about 2.5 percent of the bill amount as a fee.
Allen said she expects her office to take in about $101 million in property, motor vehicle and timber taxes this year. That money will be shared by the county, school system, fire service, Harlem and Grovetown.