Franklin County Collector Linda Emmons says if you haven’t paid your real estate and personal property taxes by now, you may not be able to avoid a penalty fee.
“Taxes have to be postmarked by Dec. 31,” Emmons said. “Since Dec. 31 is on Sunday, it will be difficult to get the taxes postmarked on that day. I recommend that the taxpayers have their taxes postmarked by Dec. 29, to avoid penalties.”
Emmons added if, and emphasized if, taxpayers can’t get their taxes postmarked by or before the 31st they can use the drop box in the back of the administration building. Mail will be picked up by midnight.
A record $117,612,759.91 is the total of all of the bills.
The tax charges for 2017 break down as follows:
• Real Estate — $83,369,619.55,
• Personal Property — $20,155,247.48,
• Railroad/Utility — $14,087,892.
The total valuation of the county is at $1,904,075,669.
The real estate valuation is $1,352,255,628, followed by personal property at $333,537,009, and railroad and utilities at $218,283,032.
Industrial and commercial property is assessed at 32 percent of true value, residential is assessed at 19 percent of true value and agricultural is assessed at 12 percent of value.
Emmons said as of Dec. 22, just under 59 percent, or $49,000,482 had been collected for real estate taxes.
About 43 percent, or $8,835,712, had been collected for personal property and just 4 percent, or $638,804, of railroad and utilities was collected by Dec. 22.
A stiffer penalty will be imposed for late taxes this year, which was done in an effort to get residents to pay their taxes earlier.
The penalty has increased from 7 percent to 9 percent of the individual’s total tax bill.
Emmons added despite the Dec. 31 tax payment deadline, her office receives delinquent payments throughout the year, but penalties are assessed on late payments.
Historically, more than 90 percent of the charges usually are paid by the deadline.
Taxes become delinquent if not paid by the deadline and penalties are levied. The bulk of the taxes are paid in December.
The county collects municipal, school district, and other taxing entities’ tax charges. Some people are under the impression that since the county sends out the bill that the money goes to the county. The largest percentage collected by the county goes to the public school districts. Where the money goes is marked clearly on the tax bills.
Emmons says her office can easily take in as much as $4 million in one day as residents pay their annual personal property and real estate taxes.
Overall there were tax increases in real estate and personal property, but utilities dropped slightly.
For 2016, $78,862,935 was charged for real estate, $19,144,693 was charged for personal property and $15,166,811 was charged for railroad/ utilities taxes.
The county should collect an additional $4,506,684 in real estate taxes and $1,010,554 in personal property taxes.
The decrease in collection for railroads and utilities was $1,078,919.