Decatur County makes it easier to pay taxes

Published 5:24 pm Tuesday, October 10, 2017

A comical video about what it is like in a home when the Internet goes down, made for a good segue into the topic of how the Decatur County Tax Office has benefitted from adding new technology to the operation of tax collections.

County Tax Commissioner, Mark Harrell, who is in his first year of office, spoke to Rotary this week, stating, “There has been a lot of modernizing of the office,” as he began to tell the Rotarians about some of the improvements.

The first new item he mentioned was Email. They can now send and receive it in the tax office.

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Probably one of the biggest changes that will be noticed by the public has been combining the paying of property taxes and purchase of auto tags into one office, where all employees have been cross-trained to handle either procedure. This is said to have reduced the wait time considerably. When entering the office, customers are given a number and wait to be called to the first available specialist.

All of the “big books” previously seen on the counters have been removed and all information is now on-line. By visiting the website, customers can research tax bill history, make online payment of property tax bills and tag renewals. Harrell said Decatur County is the first county to have the feature of paying property taxes on line. They can be paid using a credit card, or with ECheck from a checking account.

Tax sale lists are accessible identifying the sales of properties being sold for unpaid taxes. The last sale was held October 3 and another will be held November 7.

Harrell , accompanied by two of his specialists from the tax office did an on-line demonstration of the types of information available on their website while stressing the ease of using it.

Harrell said that there was no additional cost for implementing these services, but in fact they have cut their budget a full one percent. He predicts there will be further decreases.

Also shown was a pie chart indicating where the over $30,000,000 collected in 2016 was disbursed.

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