Collection of county property taxes is approaching its final weeks for the 2009 tax cycle. County collectors report payments have been coming in at a pace comparable to last year.
Lawrence County Collector Kelli McVey said that out of the $16.2 million in property taxes that he receives, about 45 percent had been paid by Thursday.
"On the number of receipts posted, we're a little ahead, by about 115," McVey said. "For the dollar amount, we're about $18,650 short from last year."
Very few cities recorded an increase in real estate valuations in the past year, McVey note. Several cities showed reductions, in part due to the change in state law that lowered the tax levy for the Barry-Lawrence Regional Library.
Even in the face of a difficult economy, taxpayers have kept up with tax payments similar to past years.
"By now [delinquent taxes] are down to 2 or even 1.7 percent, just like any other year," McVey said. "Everything is just right on, the way we like it."
In Barry County, Collector Janice Varner is working toward a tax total of $19,059,437.28. By Thursday, Varner's office had received $7,976,928.42 or 42 percent of the total. Varner calculated 35 more property owners had paid their taxes by this date a year ago but revenues in 2009 were $9,965 ahead of last year's pace.
The general mood of taxpayers was positive, Varner said, because property assessments did not increase this year.
"The steady tax rate have bee very accommodating for taxpayers because the economy is so bad," Varner said.
Delinquent taxes in Barry County have stayed comparable to the previous year as well.
"I'm well pleased with the way it's going," Varner added.
Both collectors said their offices in the historic courthouses in Mt. Vernon and Cassville are open 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday through Friday. Both offices will be open on Dec. 31. Current taxes need to be paid by Dec. 31 or mailed with a Dec. 31 postmark to avoid penalties.