County tax bills go out late

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, November 21, 2007

COURTLAND—Just because the tax bill may not have arrived, don’t think you’re off the hook this year.

Southampton County Treasurer David K. Britt said Tuesday that taxes still are due Dec. 5, despite the fact that many property owners had not yet received their bills.

&uot;We’ve been swamped with phone calls&uot; from people wondering about the situation, he said.

As it turns out, there was a delay in getting real estate tax bills in the mail, because of adjustments that were required for those taxpayers who qualified for the land use taxation program or for the senior citizens’ tax break offered by the county.

Those tweaks caused real estate tax billings to lag behind personal property tax billings, which were ready and in the mail by mid-October, Britt said.

The real estate property tax bills were finally mailed on Thursday, but a U.S. Postal Service snafu has kept them out of most taxpayers’ hands.

Britt said he delivered trays laden with bills to the Courtland Post Office, which distributed them to people with Courtland addresses and then sent the remainder on to Richmond for dispersal to other post offices.

By Tuesday, only Courtland, Ivor and Sedley postal customers had received their bills. Britt said he had heard more trays had been found in Richmond and that the remainder of the county’s bills should be delivered by today or Friday.

He suggested that taxpayers who have not yet received their bills call his office at 653-3025 to find out how much they owe.

&uot;We ask for their patience,&uot; he said, especially for those who might encounter busy signals or get put on hold while he and his clerks are dealing with other taxpayers.

Those who pay their real estate taxes through escrow accounts held by their mortgage companies don’t have to worry about the postal problem, Britt said.

Mortgage companies usually send the treasurer overnight mailers for the bills from their customers’ properties, and all of those packages were mailed without a problem.