Politics & Government

Tax office at farmer’s market moving to downtown’s Third Street

It’s a time of transition for the Bibb County Tax Commissioner’s Office.

Tax Commissioner Tommy Tedders’ main functions already have moved out of the Bibb County Courthouse and into the former Capital City Bank building at 188 Third St.

Tedders said in November that movers were packing up his courthouse offices as his staff continued with daily business.

Now the tax commissioner’s branch office at the Macon State Farmers Market, 2055 Eisenhower Parkway, is set to close at the end of the day Friday. That office’s equipment and personnel also are moving to the 188 Third St. location, at the corner of Walnut Street.

Macon-Bibb County spokesman Chris Floore said there will be a transition period from Dec. 22 through Dec. 24 as the office moves.

“During this time the Tax Office will be operational at 188 Third Street, but there may be some delay in services,” Floore said in a news release. He said the tax office on Third Street will fully operational beginning Dec. 29.

The move will consolidate all of the tax commissioner’s services in one place -- motor vehicle registration and collection of a wide range of taxes -- and a variety of new features will be offered in the new building, Floore said.

The service area will have space for 16 customer service representatives, and the bank’s old drive-thru window will be available so people can avoid standing in line, according to the news release.

Credit and debit cards will now be accepted, with the addition of a convenience fee; and in January, a new electronic system will direct customers to the next available window, Floore said. An ATM will be installed soon, and self-service kiosks are being considered.

The former Bibb County Commission bought the bank building and the former Sears building, at the corner of Third Street and Riverside Drive, in late 2013 with proceeds from a bond issue. The plan from the start was to renovate them as homes for the tax commissioner and Bibb County Sheriff’s Office, respectively. That task was taken over at the start of 2014 by the new consolidated government, becoming a key part of a major reshuffling of many city-county offices.

In August, Macon-Bibb commissioners approved spending an additional $104,000 from bond funds to move some furniture and buy some new furniture for Tedders’ office.

But the sheriff’s move has been delayed by newly discovered roof leaks in the old Sears building. Those are expected to take $250,000 to fix.

Bids haven’t been received yet, but the need for work will keep offices from moving into the building’s second floor for a while. That will, in turn, prevent new occupants from moving into the sheriff’s current space on the ground floor of Macon-Bibb County Government Center.

Information from Telegraph archives was used in this report. To contact writer Jim Gaines, call 744-4489.