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County OKs tax, election changes

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POSTED: November 23, 2013 5:00 a.m.

Two courthouse officials appeared before the Bryan County Board of Commissioners Tuesday and got support for changing long-set traditions in how the county collects taxes and holds elections.
Beginning in 2014, Bryan County property owners will face a Nov. 15 deadline to pay their property taxes, instead of the traditional Dec. 20. Tax Commissioner Carrol Ann Coleman requested the change, and commissioners unanimously approved it during their regular meeting in Pembroke.
Dec. 20 has always been uncomfortably close to Christmas, Coleman said. After that date, taxpayers who haven’t paid face a 1 percent initial monthly late fee, followed by a one-time 10 percent penalty once 90 days late and then, continued 1 percent monthly charges.
Other than having to pay at all, taxpayers’ most frequent complaint is, “Why do they have to be due right at the holidays,” Coleman said.
She said she prohibits staff members from taking personal leave during the week before and the week after the due date.
“It’s been difficult, I think, for my staff all these years to have so much work coming in right at Christmas,” she said.
A state law sets Dec. 20 as the tax due date “except as otherwise expressly provided by law.” The law now allows counties to change their tax due date to either Dec. 1 or Nov. 15.

Read full story, including changes coming to the way the county handles elections, in the Nov. 23 issue of the Bryan County News. 



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