Bah Humbug! Tax notices arrive soon

Published 6:00 am Monday, December 1, 2003

While heading out to stores during the busiest shopping time ofthe year, citizens may want to hold a little money back inexpectation of property tax notices that should be arrivingsoon.

Brookhaven and Lincoln County tax officials say they are nowpreparing to send out the notices.

“We usually shoot for the first week in December,” said City TaxCollector Pat Duckworth.

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Duckworth said her office is sending out approximately 10,000real property notices and an estimated 1,300 notices on personalproperty. Real property includes land and homes while personalproperty includes business equipment and other items.

Lincoln County Tax Assessor-Collector Nancy Jordan saidapproximately 18,000 statements on real property and about 1,400 onpersonal property will be sent out by her office.

Property owners who are tax exempt, such as those through aspecial exemption for senior citizens and the disabled, will notreceive a tax notice, Jordan said. Others can begin paying countytaxes on Dec. 1.

“We’ll have our statements out this coming week,” Jordan said,”but anyone who wants to can come on in and pay them.”

Property taxes are due by Feb. 1, 2004. Property taxes not paidby then will incur a 1 percent per month penalty until August, whenthe property will be sold at the annual land sale for delinquenttaxes.

Duckworth said city taxes may be paid as soon as the propertyowners receive their notices. Property taxes can be deducted fromincome taxes, either this year if paid by the end of 2003 or onnext year’s returns if paid after Jan. 1, 2004.

“It just depends on which year they want to claim it,” Duckworthsaid.

Brookhaven School District residents may notice a slightincrease in the tax levy to support that district, while LincolnCounty School District residents will see a more substantial hikefor that district’s operations. Property owners only pay schooltaxes to the district in which they live.

The tax levy for city school district operations went up 1.83mills from 58.14 to 59.97 mills. The increase, which will meanabout $18 more a year on a $100,000 home, was due mostly to achange in the district maintenance levy.

The tax levy for school district operations will rise 6.35 millto 52.53, due primarily to debt service on a $3.8 million bondissue approved for improvements at the county schools. For countyschool district residents only, that translates to about $63 more ayear on a $100,000 home.

All property owners in the county will see the 1.59-millincrease to 39.89 mills for county operations. That amounts toabout $15 more a year on a $100,000 home.

For the third year in a row, the tax levy to support the city’sgeneral fund operations will remain at 23.08 mills. Including debtservice on bonds and solid waste services, the total levy for cityoperations will be 32.55 mills.