Tax deadline nears

Lee County property bills delinquent after Monday
Jan. 02, 2014 @ 05:59 PM

Local residents have until Monday to pay their Lee County property taxes before the bills are considered delinquent.

The third floor lobby of the Lee County Government Center, located at 106 Hillcrest Drive, has been packed with people paying their tax bills, and Lee County Tax Administrator Mary Yow expects to remain busy until the Monday deadline. Residents will receive a penalty on their tax bills, which were sent out in July and were technically due Sept. 1, if they fail to pay by Jan. 6, she said. 

"They can pay in person here at the office, pay online and they can pay by phone," Yow said. "And we do now take credit cards in our office."

If the bill is delinquent, residents will receive an additional 2 percent interest penalty for the first month with an increase of three quarters of a percent each month after that, she said. Residents can pay their bill by cash, check or credit card.

"Once the tax bill is delinquent, they are subject to force collections, which can include garnishments of wages, bank account attachments; any method we can force collect, we use," Yow said. "That does include foreclosure, but that is not our first option we try."

People who pay their bills today or Monday may expect long lines and a wait, she said.

The Lee County property tax rate was lowered three cents to 72 cents per $100 valuation for the 2013-2014 fiscal year, a publicized priority of the Republican majority of the Lee County Board of Commissioners. Some of those commissioners have expressed their interest in lowering the rate again during the upcoming budget cycle for fiscal year 2014-2015.  

Tax Listing Notice

The period to list 2014 property has also opened, and Lee County residents have until Jan. 31 to list all their improvements to real property and their personal property.

A form for people who are required to list their property is available at the Lee County public libraries and at the Lee County Government Center, and they are available online at www.leecountync.gov. 

Businesses can request an extension until March 17 if they ask for one by Jan. 31, Yow said.

Property people are required to list:

* All farm equipment, mobile homes, boats and motors, jet skis, aircrafts including hot air balloons and gliders.

* All untagged automobile, trucks, trailers, campers and motorcycles.

* All assets and supplies of businesses.

* Tools used by carpenters and mechanics.

* All improvements, additions or changes to real estate.

* Severed mineral rights.

If a taxpayer fails to list his or her property, he or she is accessed a 10 percent penalty, Yow said.