Property taxes late after Dec. 31

Published 4:28 pm Tuesday, December 7, 2010

If you own property in Chilton County, your tax on that land is due.

County property taxes came due on Oct. 1, but payments aren’t late until after Dec. 31.

Still, residents would be wise to make sure their payment has been received or make arrangements to get money to the county tax collector’s office in the county courthouse.

Collections for the year are slightly ahead of last year, according to Stefani Lake with the tax collector’s office. 12,880 parcels have been accounted for as of Tuesday afternoon, compared to 12,801 this day in 2009.

One percent interest per month plus late fees accrue starting Jan. 2, 2011, on property taxes that have not been paid.

Delinquent notices are sent, and then certified mail pieces are sent about March 1. More fees are accrued because of the costs of sending the certified mail.

The certified mailing also includes a date for probate court in which residents can state their case about why they have failed to pay their property tax.

Usually at the end of April or beginning of May, following three weeks of publishing in the newspaper a list of names of those owing tax money, the county auctions off delinquent property, with the original owner having three years to reclaim the property. An official date for the tax sale has yet to be set.

Property owners can pay their tax by credit or debit card at; or by cash, check, card or money order at the tax collector’s office.

A small fee is applied to payments made by credit or debit card, to offset costs associated with allowing this type payment.

Also, residents have the option of making a $2 donation on their payment to the Alabama Firefighters Annuity and Benefit Fund—by simply making out their payment for $2 more than the owed amount.

The option of donating to the fund will be included on bills next year.