County tax, vehicle-decal bills go out

Published 12:00 am Monday, January 14, 2008

COURTLAND—Nearly 12,000 personal property tax returns were set to go into the mail in Courtland on Thursday, as employees of the treasurer’s and revenue commissioner’s offices hurried to stuff the remaining envelopes and put them in mailing trays.

The effort capped off a little more than a week’s worth of work for as many as nine county employees, who began stuffing envelopes with the tax forms after they were printed last weekend.

Also included in the mailing are auto decal registration forms that are being sent for the treasurer’s office.

Southampton County Commissioner of the Revenue Amy Carr warned on Thursday that taxpayers are responsible for paying their taxes, whether they receive the forms or not.

The tax forms are for all tangible personal property, including mobile homes and recreational vehicles, cars and trucks, boats and trailers, farm and forestry equipment and livestock and store inventory. Real estate is excluded.

Carr said that personal property taxes raised about $6.2 million in revenue for Southampton last year.

The forms are designed to give the commissioner’s office notice of changes to a county resident’s personal property inventory. If a resident buys a car, a boat, a trailer or a recreational vehicle, for example, that purchase must be noted on the tax return.

The forms must be returned to the commissioner’s office, postmarked by March 15, in order to avoid a late filing fee of 10 percent or $10, whichever is greater.

Automotive decal registrations must be returned to the treasurer’s office, along with a $23 fee, by Feb. 15.

One difference that both Carr and Treasurer David K. Britt warned of regarding this year’s mailing is that households with more than one registered vehicle may get their tax returns in separate envelopes.

To better protect taxpayers’ privacy, they said, families with vehicles titled in different names would have their returns delivered separately. For instance, a husband and wife with three cars — one titled in his name, one in her name and one in both names — will receive three different returns.

Carr said her department was also working on business license applications, and she expected about 600 to be mailed to county businesses on Friday.

Licenses must be renewed annually, and business owners must pay a fee that is based upon gross receipts, Carr said. The fees are due March 1.