Some surprising names are on the list of those who haven’t paid 2015 county taxes on time.
“They’ve been warned,” Treasurer Jeannine Bateman said. “We try to give them until the last minute to get everything paid. We told them we had to have it last Friday at noon in the office, not by mail.”
A total of $347,977 of taxes and interest remain unpaid, a 3 percent increase over last year’s total. The list is published elsewhere in this paper.
Marion taxpayers owe $81,724, nearly one-fourth of the county total, with 33 listings showing between $1,000 and $5,500 owed.
St. Luke Hospital Foundation owes $286 for St. Luke Auxiliary Thrift Shoppe, and three Marion restaurant addresses also appear on the list.
In contrast, taxpayers in Hillsboro, the county’s most populous town, owe $33,765, virtually even with the $33,033 that Florence taxpayers have outstanding.
Included on the delinquent list for Hillsboro are two charges related to Hillsboro Community Hospital. The list shows the city owes $690, while the hospital itself has $2,810 unpaid.
Florence City Council member Tracye Warner and husband Michael owe $389 on a Florence residence.
Peabody taxpayers owe $55,389, including $151 for the owed by Peabody Golf Club.
In Goessel, where taxpayers owe $16,498, Wheat Heritage Engine and Threshing Co. stands out on the list with 14 lots and a total tax bill of $304.
However, every amount shown may not represent past due property taxes, Bateman said.
In the cases of City of Hillsboro and St. Luke Hospital Foundation, the amounts owed are for commercial solid waste special assessments. Both properties are exempt from ad valorem taxes. A portion of Hillsboro Community Hospital’s bill also is for a solid waste assessment.
Other names may show up on the list for reasons that have nothing to do with the person not paying taxes.
Such is the case of Marion city administrator Roger Holter and wife Janell.
The delinquent list shows the Holters owe a combined $1,203 for two Peabody properties they bought last November in a sheriff’s tax sale.
The Holters sold the properties to Terri Tucker of Peabody in December, but the tax bill already had been issued to the Holters.
Tucker, the property owner, is paying the taxes. She has set up an escrow account with the treasurer’s office and is making monthly payments on the account, Bateman said. When the total amount due is collected, the tax bills will be cleared.
More people have set up escrow accounts for 2015 taxes than they did for 2014 taxes, Bateman said, and numerous businesses have, as well.
“That’s one bill they can count on being each month,” she said. “They can pay ahead on their taxes and not have the lump sum due on Dec. 20 and May 10. Nobody has a chunk of money in this day and age.”
Bateman said escrow accounts and last fall’s tax sale could have contributed to seeing all but 2 percent of $19,281,616 real estate, personal property, and special assessment taxes due being collected by the deadline.
“And that’s rounding up,” Bateman said. “I’m impressed.”