Think your county tax is high? Just be thankful you didn't get the bill for Georgia Power, Quebecor World or John Deere Commercial Products.
The three companies will pay the most this year out of the top 10 property owners in Columbia County before Monday's tax deadline.
Georgia Power, the top taxpayer in the county, had a 2004 assessed value of $24.4 million and received a tax bill of $188,049, according to records with the county's tax commissioner's office. That's 1.05 percent of the county's total amount of taxes paid. Quebecor World came in second, assessed at $23.2 million and paying $175,938. John Deere Commercial Products is assessed at $20 million and received a tax bill for $154,068.
When combining all top 10 taxpayers in the county, all of which are businesses, the amount of taxes paid totals nearly 6 percent of the county's overall tax amount.
So far, Kay Allen, the county's tax commissioner, said early returns of tax payments have been better than normal because of an early payment option on the Internet that offered a chance to pay without assessing a credit card charge Aug. 16 through Sept. 17. Altogether, Allen said, the county collected $975,000 through that early option.
"It is a huge increase over the first 30 days in previous years,'' she said.
This year, the county also sent out its tax bills early because of a new fire tax being added in. Still, with no other incentive to pay early, she said, there are plenty of taxes to be paid.
As of Oct. 18, the most recent records run by Allen's department, the county still had $51 million in taxes to collect.
"We've got mortgage companies that do not have incentives to pay early,'' Allen said. "But we dangled a little carrot out there, and they responded favorably.''
Allen said more incentives are needed for future collections so the county can use tax payments earlier.
"If we had that in conjunction with some kind of discount, I think our early collection would really soar,'' she said. "If I can do that (offer more incentives) next year, I'm going to do it.''
Top 10 Columbia County taxpayers:
Georgia Power: Assessed value $24.4 million, $188,049 in taxes levied
Quebecor World Inc.: Assessed value $23.2 million, $175,938 in taxes levied
John Deere Commercial Products: Assessed value $20 million, $154,068 in taxes levied
Club Car Inc.: Assessed value $16 million, $123,740 in taxes levied
Bell South Telecommunications: Assessed value $12.4 million, $96,107 in taxes levied
Wal-Mart Real Estate Business: Assessed value $11.2 million, $86,492 in taxes levied
Pollard Land Co.: Assessed value $11.1 million, $85,885 in taxes levied
Greenfield Industries: Assessed value $7.8 million, $60,360 in taxes levied
Atlanta Gas Light Co.: Assessed value $6.3 million, $49,055 in taxes levied
Georgia Iron Works: Assessed value $6 million, $46,779 in taxes levied
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