Tax due dates quickly approaching

Published 12:06 am Saturday, November 7, 2009

No one gets pleasure out of paying taxes. What makes things worse is to stand in line. But there are ways to avoid the lines, or at least make your trip to the tax collector’s office shorter.

One of the most obvious tips is to not procrastinate.

“Everyone’s money is tighter than it’s been in the past, and society today is more likely to put things off until the last minute,” said Chilton County Tax Collector Tim Little.

Little suggests using the Internet for those who need to save time. This can be done by visiting, where you may pay using your credit card.

There is a 2.2-percent convenience fee, which goes to service provider PayPal, for those who take advantage of this option.

“That’s just a convenience for the customer. If you want to pay with a credit card, you’ve got to be willing to pay for it. Or you may go online, get your amounts and mail it in,” Little added.

Property owners have from Oct. 1 through Dec. 31 to pay their taxes. Then, in January, people with last names starting with “A” or “D” must renew their vehicle license and registration.

The Chilton County Motor Vehicles Department, under the umbrella of the tax collector’s office, has stopped mailing out tag reminders due to a cost-cutting measure mandated by the county commission. Chief Clerk Laura Jones said this has increased the office’s workload. Meanwhile, customers see it as an inconvenience. But there are things people can do to make it easier all around.

“People need to be aware of their insurance and look on the front of their tag receipt. It will tell them exactly when their tag expires,” she said.

Jones also suggests writing down one’s tag numbers for each vehicle before visiting the office. This makes it easier for clerks to pull up information.

Another issue — the state no longer handles reinstatements of suspended tags. This task is now the county’s responsibility, and the office has fewer employees due to cuts.

People should be aware that the state randomly mails insurance surveys to 20 percent of drivers.

“If they don’t fill it out, they suspend their tag,” Jones said.

To get reinstated, people need to bring proof of insurance with them to the tag office, proving that they had insurance at the time the survey was issued.

Jones also asks customers to be patient if their phone calls are not immediately returned. Sometimes, the voice mailbox fills up and cannot take messages.

“I am so proud of our ladies. They are so patient,” she said. “I appreciate the patience of the public.”