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Tax deadline nears

December 28, 2010

Howard County Tax Assessor/Collector Kathy Sayles, right, looks over the tax rolls with Deputy Clerk Tuesday morning. Taxes are due by 5 p.m. Jan. 31. (HERALD photo/Thomas Jenkins)

Area residents who haven’t paid their property taxes have until the end of January to ante up their 2010 tabs or face penalties and interest, according to local tax officials.

Area property owners can avoid the annual last-minute dash to pay their taxes by getting them out of the way early in the month, according to County Tax Assessor Kathy Sayles.

“Once the taxes go delinquent in February, the penalties and interest start at 7 percent and increases each month,” said Sayles. “As of July 1, penalty and interest grows to 18 percent, with an additional penalty tacked on for attorney fees.”

Approximately 36,000 to 37,000 tax statements were mailed out in mid-October, according to Sayles, and area residents who aren’t sure how much they owe can get that information over the phone or in person at the tax office.

“Some individuals don’t get their statement for whatever reason,” said Sayles. “We can pull up their name on the system and tell them the amount that’s due. So if you haven’t received a statement, call us or come by the office. Some people, because of their homestead exemptions, have no taxes, so we don’t send them a notice. However, if they just want to make sure everything is OK, all they have to do is call.

“They can reference their check with an account number that we can give them so they can get their payment in the mail. Once that’s done, we mail them back a receipt for their payment.”

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