pay taxes

Franklin County Collector Doug Trentmann says his office took in 95.5 percent of the total taxes charged for real estate, personal property, railroads and utilities for 2019.

In just the past six weeks, once bills were received, $118,683,143 has been paid.

Of the total real estate charges of $90,744,641, $84,972,756 has been collected, and $19,345,054 of the total $22,048,281 in personal property charges has been paid.

The deadline to pay or have mail postmarked was Dec. 31.

As of Thursday afternoon, there was $4 million in personal property taxes still outstanding and a total of $5.8 million in real estate taxes unpaid for 2019.

“We are right about where we normally are,” Trentmann said. “We still have a small trickle coming in and some mail that is postmarked. Some of the envelopes look like they have had a rough journey.”

Railroad and utilities tax charges for the year were $14,365,333 and Trentmann said all of those had a 100 percent collection rate.

Total tax charges for 2019 for Franklin County were $127,158,258 mailed in 70,473 bills for real estate taxes and an additional 44,641 personal property tax bills.

“We still have about 26,000 bills outstanding,” Trentmann said. “There is usually a 1 percent fail rate on mail and we are right there too.”

He explained the fail rate includes addresses misspelled or residents who have moved and did not leave a forwarding address, thus tax bills didn’t make it to the residents.

Online Payments

Despite issues with the look of the redesigned tax bills this year, Trentmann said online payments quadrupled, making the process much easier for residents and staff.

“Part of the redesign was to put the website on the center of the bills, so it was easy to see,” he said. “In the past we had to add an additional slip to the envelopes, because there wasn’t room on the bills.”

He added the online payments are able to be transferred directly into the new computer system unlike before when all of the entries had to be hand typed.

Speed

The new computer system also allowed payments in person to be processed faster this year.

“We had some compliments about how fast the line moved,” Trentmann said. “December 30 was the busiest day and I know we had lines out the front door at least three times that day. Friday, the 27th and New Year’s Eve were the next busiest days.”

Trentmann estimates on Dec. 30 all four windows in the collector’s office processed about 400 bills each.

On another positive note, the new computer system which actually delayed bills going out functioned well, which Trentmann said helped collections go smoothly.

“It didn’t completely crash,” he said. “We didn’t know how well it would do, because there are some things we just can’t test. We gave it the absolute worst we could and overall the system performed.”