Thursday, February 12, 2009
Tax picture not gloomy, Byrd says
By SUE WATSON
The state of 2008 tax revenue collections in Marshall County looks good so far, according to tax collector Betty Byrd.
She reported on December and January tax collections to the board of supervisors February 2.
Presenting the tax collection data for 2007 as compared to 2008, Byrd is pleased.
“Friday (January 30) we handled 1,198 collections,” she said. “You think we weren’t rolling.”
Year 2008 transactions for December and January came to 18,981, up 192 over transactions for the same period last year, Byrd said. In terms of dollars collected, $14 million in taxes were collected this year as opposed to $11 million for the same period last year. Total 2008 revenues collected for December/January were up by $2.6 million over activity last year ending in January.
Each year real and personal property taxes come due February 1. Not all tax payers choose to pay their tax by the due date, Byrd said. However, the collection of $14 million by February 1 this year means the county and cities and school districts have money to operate on now.
“Everything is not as gloomy as you think it is on the tax thing,” Byrd told the board of supervisors.
Of the $14 million in 2008 taxes collected so far, $6.6 million was money going to county government. The dollars going to the county for the collection period under discussion were down by $437,053 compared to last year this time.
But most of all Byrd was glad that tax collections have been coming in at a good pace. December and January each year are the busiest months for tax collections, locally, she said.
Sales tax collections statewide have been low, however, which is causing some changes locally. Byrd said the fund set up by the state to cover specialty tags production and issuance had about dried up.
“No more specialty tags can be ordered because the state is out of money in that fund,” she said.
Tag buyers could be faced with an inability to get a specialty car tag due to this fund being low, Byrd said.
The tags are ordered individually as they are requested, she said, rather than counties keeping an inventory of specialty tags. The tags are manufactured in Nova Scotia, she said.
The county does not receive much money for selling the specialty tags, she said, so the lack of sales will not significantly impact county revenues.
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