Discount provided for tax notices
LINCOLNTON – With annual tax notices being mailed out recently, Lincoln County is once again providing a 2 percent discount to those returning their bills from July 1 to Aug. 31.
Taxes are due beginning Thursday, Sept. 1 and are considered past due on Jan. 6, 2012.
Lincoln County tax administrator Madge Huffman said it’s generally the same group of people each year that take advantage of the 2 percent discount.
“This discount has been in place since I started here, which was nearly 30 years ago,” Huffman said. “Mostly, people with escrow accounts take advantage of it. Those are folks that have a mortgage and their mortgage company pays their tax bills.”
Huffman said most mortgage companies are very forceful to make sure the bills are paid during the discounted period.
Huffman said the county generally collects about 70 percent of the entire levy during the 2-month discounted amount period.
“It depends on who you’re talking about,” Huffman said. “But I think for a lot of people, 2 percent is a pretty substantial amount. It’s based on whether or not you would be accruing that much interest if your money was still in the bank.”
Huffman said with hard economic times, some might expect that number to change, but that hasn’t been the case in recent years.
“I don’t know what the results will look like this time around,” Huffman said. “That number of 70 percent has actually held constant through the bad economy.”
Huffman doesn’t know if the number will remain consistent for 2011, but thinks there’s a good chance of it.
“I anticipate that it will stay steady on that number,” she said. “That’s based on the fact that a huge amount of that comes from savings, loans and people’s escrow accounts.”
Important tax dates
• Two percent discount available from July 1 to Aug. 31
• Taxes are officially due Sept. 1 and are considered late if turned in later than Jan. 6
• To avoid late penalties, payments must be in the tax collector’s office or postmarked by Jan. 5
• Residents who didn’t receive a tax notice should contact the administration office