With tens of millions of dollars in local property taxes coming due, some Middle Georgians may opt for a short reprieve.
But if they wait too long, they may face longer lines, and any delays would force costly penalties.
Bibb County’s property taxes are technically due Saturday, but because the Nov. 15 due date falls on a weekend, property owners have a bit more time, said Tax Commissioner Tommy Tedders.
“They can pay Monday up until 5 o’clock in the office without a penalty,” said Tedders, whose staff takes payments at the Bibb County Courthouse and in an office at the State Farmer’s Market off Eisenhower Parkway.
And taxpayers can pay online, as well, with payments being accepted until 11:59 p.m. Monday without penalty. Missing that deadline, though, will cost people more money. Late penalties start at 1 percent per month.
How much is at stake? Tedders said his office billed $132.1 million for real and personal property taxes. As of Wednesday, his staff had entered more than $81 million into its collection program, and about $11 million more was waiting to be typed in from mortgage company escrow payments. Mail payments also are being processed.
In a typical year, Bibb County will collect about 98 or 99 percent of the payments in time. Tedders guessed this might be a better year than some, partially because his office began accepting credit and debit payments. That’s proved popular with car payments, at least.
Tedders’ courthouse offices are moving to Walnut Street later this month.
“We’ve got movers in here packing us and moving us while still trying to conduct business,” he said. “It’s an experience.”
In Houston County, property owners still have about a month to pay their taxes, which officially are due Dec. 20. Because that’s a Saturday, they can pay the following Monday without penalty, said Tax Commissioner Mark Kushinka. They can pay at the Perry or Warner Robins offices by 5 p.m., get their mail postmarked by that Monday or pay online. But Kushinka hopes people don’t dawdle, if only for their own sake.
“We’ll be busy (that) Friday and Monday, very busy,” he said. “People who come before that day don’t have to wait as long.”
Kushinka said he’s billing for about $85 million in real and personal property taxes, and he expects to collect about 99 percent of that amount.
To contact writer Mike Stucka, call 744-4251.