Thursday, April 28, 2016

County property tax collections up

Knox County property tax collections are up again this year, reaching what could possibly be an all-time high, but officials say there’s still more money to go after.

The county Trustee’s Office closed the books Feb. 29 on the current tax season, bringing in $249 million from property owners who paid before the deadline.

That amounted to a roughly 96.5 percent collection rate from taxes tied to some 206,000 parcels throughout the county.

But, Trustee Ed Shouse says there’s still about $6 million in outstanding taxes, and those who haven’t paid up now also owe an additional 18 percent penalty fee.

“Every year there’s an increase (in collections),” said Shouse, who wrapped up his first full tax season as trustee. “I can’t speak definitely whether it’s record breaking or not, but it’s a good number for us to work at every year and we’ll try to improve it every year . . . . I can’t promise you we will, but we’ll do our very best.”

Collections – mostly due to overall natural growth in the county – continue to rise.

For example, the office last year collected $247 million by the end of February deadline. Five year ago, it brought in $231 million.

“Frankly having an extra day to pay your taxes helped,” Shouse added, referring to leap year. “Every four years you’re going to get an extra day – that helped. And I think we were more aggressive in the way we sent notices out, processing and returning mail – common sense things. Using Google, KGIS and just trying to find people’s correct address.”

Full story RIGHT HERE.

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