Property taxes due Wednesday

Published 9:50 am Wednesday, December 24, 2014

With the end of the year in sight, that also means property taxes are due soon.

The deadline to pay property taxes without a fee is Wednesday, Dec. 31, and Marengo County Revenue Commissioner Sharon Barkley said there are still close to half of the county’s taxes that aren’t paid with just a few days left to pay.

“With just a few days to go, we’ve got nearly half the taxes still out to collect,” Barkley said. “We’re trying to help make the process easier by taking payment over the phone, and of course we’re receiving payment through the mail as well.”

Barkley said payments can also be made online at www.marengocountyal.com.

After Dec. 31, accounts will become delinquent and fees will be attached to the payments. In January, a $5 fee plus 1 percent of the tax will be added, then in February, the fee will be $10 and 1 percent of the tax bill.

Barkley said in March, court notices will be sent out, and the court date will be March 20. After that, the properties will be advertised in April, and the tax sale will be May 1.

She also wanted to remind citizens of the homestead exemptions for those who are disabled or over the age of 65.

“If you qualify for the homestead exemption, you can either sign and send back the affidavit we mailed out, or you can come by our office and sign it,” she said.

Barkley added that her office sent out notices this month to people who had bought property after Oct. 1, 2013, that have unpaid taxes.

“If someone bought property after Oct. 1, 2013, their name won’t go onto the property until 2015, but by then, the account is already delinquent,” she said. “This year, we tried to look ahead to see which properties are changing names in 2015 with unpaid taxes, and we sent them letters. A lot of times, the previous owners won’t pay those taxes, so it falls to the new owner, but they don’t know until it’s already past due.

“We’re trying to make that process easier on people this year.”

The revenue commissioner’s office will be open from 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Monday through Wednesday this week to accept payment for properties. Payments can also be mailed as long as they are postmarked by Dec. 31.