The Pettis County Collector's Office will resume normal business hours today as Monday’s property tax deadline approaches.
Collector Marsha Boeschen told the Democrat less than half of the county’s total anticipated receipts had been paid as of Monday.
“I think it is the economy,” Boeschen said. “I think people are just trying to hold onto their money as long as they can.”
The office, located on the second floor of the Pettis County Courthouse, will be open from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. through Friday, and will open again on Monday. People paying their taxes in person must do so by 5 p.m. Monday. Mailed returns must be postmarked by Dec. 31 to avoid a penalty. Taxpayers who miss that deadline may also leave tax payments in the Collector’s drop box located on the northeast corner of the courthouse lawn.
People who miss the deadline face a 9 percent late fee in January, and see their penalty grow by 2 percent through September. Fees recommence in January of the second year of delinquency at 2 percent; real estate that is three years delinquent faces being auctioned to recoup back taxes.
Once real estate taxes are paid in full for 2012, taxpayers also may sign up for the office’s monthly estimated installment plan.
That plan allows taxpayers who have no tax liability and have paid the current year’s taxes to have 1/11th of their estimated 2012 tax bill deducted from their bank account monthly from January to October. The final amount of taxes due will be posted in the annual end-of-year billing. The final balance will be due Dec. 31, 2013. The amount paid will be based on the 2012 tax bill, Boeschen said.
Those interested in the program may sign up at the collector’s office on the second floor of the Pettis County Courthouse, and they must maintain a checking account in the name of the taxpayer for the entire year.
Boeschen said 175 people signed up for the monthly payment plan last year.
The deadline to sign up for the monthly installment plan is Jan. 7.
Taxpayers may also pay their bills online through a new website, pettismo.devnet
awedge.com, by paying with a credit or debit card of an electronic check. There is a $1.50 fee for electronic checks.
People with questions about their tax bills or who wish to sign up for the installment program may call the collector’s office at 826-5000, ext. 921.