Supervisors firm on tax deadline

Published 12:00 am Friday, November 30, 2007

COURTLAND—They’ve heard your requests for more time, and some are even sympathetic to your concerns.

But Southampton County supervisors have a message for you if you haven’t paid your real estate taxes yet.

Don’t be late.

Voting 3-2, with Chairman Dallas O. Jones abstaining, the Board of Supervisors on Monday refused to extend by a week the deadline to pay real estate property taxes, which are due Dec. 5.

&uot;You know your taxes are due by Dec. 5,&uot; Capron District Supervisor Moses Wyche said during a discussion of problems that kept tax bills out of some county residents’ hands until late this year. &uot;A lot of times, people are just looking for an excuse&uot; to put off the pain of paying their bills.

Southampton Treasurer David K. Britt said last week that tax notices originally were delayed because of adjustments associated with the land use taxation program and a senior citizens’ tax break.

A postal service snafu further complicated matters, resulting in many taxpayers receiving their bills late, despite the fact that they were mailed ahead of the deadline imposed by state law.

&uot;I think in all fairness … we should give at least two weeks more&uot; to pay real estate taxes, Newsoms District Supervisor Walt Brown said. &uot;We can do a two-week extension. What’s wrong with that?&uot;

After considerable back-and-forth with other members of the board, Brown put forward a motion to extend the tax deadline by one week. He received support from Boykins Supervisor Carl Faison.

Berlin-Ivor Supervisor Ronald West and Jerusalem Supervisor Anita Felts joined Wyche in voting against the proposal. Franklin District representative Walter Young Jr. was absent from the meeting.

Noting that he and other supervisors are &uot;fairly representative of the people of Southampton County,&uot; West said he had called the treasurer’s office to find out the amount of tax he owed when he realized his bill was late this year.

He and the others opposed to changing the deadline wondered how residents could forget about the due date. &uot;Something about April 15 sticks in my mind too,&uot; he said.