Archived Story

$8 million in taxes still unpaid

Published 11:19am Thursday, December 26, 2013

The deadline to pay property taxes is quickly approaching. Tallapoosa County Revenue Commissioner Linda Harris said there are still more than $8 million in unpaid property taxes. “

We collect about $21 million a year in property taxes, and so far we have had more than $12 million paid,” Harris said. “So, outstanding, unpaid taxes at this time is $8.6 million.”

Harris said the deadline to pay property taxes is the end of the month, and she advises people to pay online in order to save time.

“If I could give folks some good advice: rather than stand up here in line for two hours to pay their taxes, if they will mail their property tax payments in and have them postmarked by Dec. 31, we will accept them,” Harris said. “If they would like a return receipt, all they have to do is send a self-addressed stamped envelope, we will mail the receipt right back to them.”

Harris said property taxes can also be paid online.

“If they would like to pay their property taxes online, they can do that at any time at tallapoosapropertytax.com,” Harris said. “We do go through PayPal, so there is a small fee to pay online, but it’s very convenient.”

Harris said there are penalties and late fees that incur over time for taxes paid after the Dec. 31 deadline.

“On property taxes, we do start the penalties Jan. 1. The penalty will be $5 and 12 percent interest per year,” Harris said. “When they go to pay, it will be that late fee, plus interest.”

If the deed for a homeowner’s property has been recorded after Oct. 1, 2012, the homeowner will not receive a tax bill in his or her name until Oct. 1, 2014.

“I always am concerned about our new homeowners. We will have people who purchased property after Oct. 1 of last year. If they purchased property after Oct. 1 of last year, they are not going to get a tax bill – it’s going to be in the previous owner’s name,” Harris said. “They need to check on that and make sure their taxes are paid.”

Final notices are sent in March, 2013, and the properties are advertised for sale in April. In May, the properties are sold at a public sale at the county courthouse.

Homestead exemptions are due by Dec. 31. Residents have to apply no later than that date in order to get the exemption for next year, no exceptions. If homestead exemption is paid on Jan. 1 or later, residents will not be able to get an exemption until Oct. 1, 2015.

Homestead exemptions apply only to the “Principal Residence” and cannot apply to more than one residence.

For these exemptions, proof of age is required and may be established by a driver’s license, birth certificate. Proof of disability is required by documentation from the Social Security Administration, Veterans Administration and two physician’s letters.

Call the Revenue Commissioner’s office with any questions that you may have regarding assessment of property, homestead exemptions and the collection of property taxes.

The office can be reached at (256) 825-1077 or (256) 825-7831.

The websites for the Revenue Commissioner’s office are www.tallapoosacountymaps.com and tallapoosataxandprobate.com/taxes.

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