Deadline for tax-payment installment nears

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— The deadline for property-tax payments for people who chose to take a two-payment installment plan is only 10 days away.

While most people paid their property taxes in full on April 30, others were given the option of a two-payment plan, which has a final deadline of June 15.

Routt County Treasurer Jeanne Whiddon warned people against procrastinating, as payments postmarked after June 15, or not turned in by 5 p.m. at the payment window at the county treasurer's office, face an additional 1-percent interest charge.

"Don't rely on getting it in at the last minute," said Whiddon, adding that state statutes do not allow the treasurer's office to write off interest. "The law won't let us help people out that way."

Even the best excuse or other outside circumstances that prevent people from paying on time cannot be taken into consideration. The office must, by law, add the interest charge, she said.

One Routt County resident thought he beat the April 30 property-tax deadline by dropping off his payments at 7 p.m., two hours after the deadline. He was still charged with a late payment.

Late payments incur an additional 1-percent charge on June taxes. That increases to 2 percent if the payment is made in July, amounting to a 1-percent payment per month. The treasurer's office will send out anywhere from 7,000 to 8,000 delinquent notices every year.

As of the end of May, the treasurer's office has collected $24.5 million in taxes and expects to collect $31.6 million by the end of the year. The current collected total is $2 million higher than last year's amount at the same time. Whiddon speculated that more taxpayers chose to pay in full by the April 30 deadline this year.

Routt County will receive 25 percent of the money generated, with much of the remainder going to schools.

The 2002 budget, funded by this year's taxes, has not been set by the Routt County Board of Commissioners.

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