County $1M short on taxes

Published 3:51 pm Tuesday, January 6, 2015

Delinquent property tax bills could arrive in mailboxes as early as tomorrow, as Escambia County Tax Collector Joy Wiggins said Tuesday just over $1 million is outstanding in property taxes.

“As of (Tuesday) morning, we had collected $13,449,513.74,” Wiggins said. “From the abstract of $14,533,046.50, that leaves us with a lack still to be collected of just over $1 million. Overall payments have come in pretty good.”

Wiggins said the delinquent bills are printed and should be mailed today.

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“We have to print delinquent bills after Dec. 31,” Wiggins said. “It takes a little time print all those. We have to hold out to make sure we pull out the ones that were mailed in to us and were postmarked by Wed., Dec. 31. I plan to have those out in the mail by (today).”

Wiggins said people who get delinquent bills have until the end of February to pay their taxes without adding additional penalties and fees.

“After March 1, we will print certified bills, and they will go out in the mail,” she said. “The fees will go up because the letters will be sent as certified mail. If they pay it before then, they will really help themselves out.”

Parcels with unpaid taxes after the March deadline will be placed up for auction, Wiggins said.

“After that, we will advertise it in the paper in April,” she said. “If they are still not paid by then, we will have to have a sale in May. I encourage all to come by and pay before then because I really don’t like having to sell people’s property.”

Wiggins said there is two locations residents can pay their taxes.

“They can come to the tax collector’s office at the courthouse in Brewton or they can come to the satellite office in Atmore,” she said. “Either place is fine.”

The collection period will be one of the last big things Wiggins does in office before her time comes to an end. Tim Pettis will take over for Wiggins after winning election this past November.

Taxes must be paid in the tax collector’s office located in the Escambia County Courthouse on Belleville Avenue in Brewton. Taxes may also be paid at the Escambia County Satellite Courthouse location on U.S. Highway 31 South in Atmore.

For more information, contact (251) 368-8086 or (251) 867-0299.