If you are reading this and you still haven’t paid your county property or real estate taxes, you have less than 48 hours to do so without penalty.
Property tax bills are now due at the Newton County Collector’s Office. While Monday is New Year’s Eve, the collector’s office will be open from 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. that day, Newton County Collector Jim Otey said. Taxes may also be sent to the collector’s office and, if postmarked Dec. 31, will incur no penalty, Otey said.
“Collections are on pace with what we’ve had at this time in the past,” Otey said. “Right now, we’re at about 67 percent complete, which is right on pace.”
Otey said Monday will be the office’s ‘rush day,” with collections soaring to 87-88 percent that day.
The office will also accept credit and debit card payments (Visa or MasterCard only) in person at the collector’s office or online at www.newtoncountycollector.com and click on the “pay taxes online” link to the left of the main screen.
If paying by credit card, please note: there is a 3 percent convenience fee incurred. Otey said the county does not receive any funds from the fee, but all revenue goes to the credit card processor.
“We don’t get a penny of it,” he said.
He said businesses do not do that because those credit and debit card fees are reflected in the product price. State law prohibits the collector’s office from raising rates to cover the costs of credit and debit card fees, however.
If late on taxes, a 7 percent penalty will be incurred, as well as an additional 2 percent for each month delinquent. For instance, if a taxpayer waits until next December to pay his or her 2012 taxes, he or she will owe the full tax bill, plus an additional 25 percent in penalties and interests.
Otey said his office has added the village of Saginaw and the city of Joplin as entities the county collects taxes for. This brings the total to seven: Neosho, Silver Creek, Seneca, Leawood Village, Loma Linda and the two new entities. The number will drop to six next year, as voters recently approved annexing Silver Creek into Joplin.