"Everything went very well for the first installment," Clay County Treasurer Debbie James said. "Right now we are working on the delinquencies and settlements."
James said the settlement process is where her office finalizes the amount of property taxes paid, have them checked by the Auditor's Office, then the information is sent to the state for approval before the dollars are distributed to the taxing units.
While the percentage of residents who paid the first installment is not yet available, James said there were enough delinquencies for the county to hold a tax sale this year.
"Tax sales open up when the property taxes for a parcel have not been paid for three consecutive installments," she said. "This year, we have more than 700 parcels eligible for a tax sale."
In a tax sale, a parcel is auctioned off, but the initial owner has one full year from the time of the sale to complete all current and past due property tax payments before a tax deed is given to the highest bidder of the auction.
"The parcel must be auctioned for at least the amount of property taxes due and the highest bidder is given a tax sale certificate the day of the auction," James said. "If the owner of the parcel makes all the delinquent payments before the one-year grace period is over, the bidder must surrender the certificate and will have their money refunded."
Typically a tax sale occurs in October, but with the first installment deadline postponed until late August this year, James said the sale would most likely take place in December.
One big difference in property tax collection this year is that residents have the option of paying them at any First Financial Bank in Clay County.
"Residents responded very well to paying their taxes at the bank and we had more than 1,000 parcels paid through that option," James said. "It definitely made things easier as it cut down on the amount of traffic we had in the office and reduced the amount of mail we had to sort through."
James added residents should have the bill for the second installment as the Treasurer's Office included it in the initial mailing and can pay their taxes at the office at any time. However, First Financial Bank will not be accepting payments until sometime in October.
For questions or more information, contact the Treasurer's Office at 448-9009.