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Most taxpayers make deadline
County pleased with collections
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Forsyth County News

More Forsyth County residents paid their taxes on time in 2009 than in years past.

Tax Commissioner Matthew Ledbetter said about 88 percent of property owners paid on or before Monday’s due date. Last year, just 82 percent made the cutoff.

“Things went very smoothly and we appreciate that,” Ledbetter said. “We’re very thankful ... to the citizens of Forsyth County for making our jobs a little bit easier.”

So far, the county has collected about $175.6 million of the $200 million owed on property.

Ledbetter said the office received a few straggling payments Tuesday and expects a few more to come in over the next 30 days.

Those who pay before Dec. 15 will be charged a 1 percent late fine. After that date, the tax office starts sending out letters, Ledbetter said.

On Feb. 15, an additional 10 percent fine is tacked onto the 1 percent monthly fee, but Ledbetter said his staff is usually close to collecting 100 percent by then.

“I would have thought it would be slower due to the way the economy is,” he said.  “But they came on through and that just goes to show people are willing to pay for good services.”

The county's tax collections come from about 88,000 accounts, including homes, businesses and boats.

Property tax bills average about $3,000 for residential properties, Ledbetter has said, and about 60 percent of collections come from escrow accounts.