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Gainesville taxes due today

Official expects lower collections due to the economic meltdown

POSTED: December 29, 2008 5:00 a.m.

The only certainties in life are death and taxes, and the lucky Gainesville property owner only will have to face the latter today.

Today is the last day for Gainesville residents to make their property tax payments without incurring late fees.

The city charges 1 percent interest each month on late balances, Gainesville’s Chief Financial Officer Melody Marlowe said.

Property owners who do not pay their bills in full 90 days after today will be charged a 10 percent penalty.

The economy has affected the rate in which property tax payments have come in thus far, Marlowe said, and a large number of late payments may not be a surprise.

"They’re a little slower coming in this year," she said.

The city builds its budget on the assumption that 95 percent of property taxes will be paid. Normally, the city ends up collecting about 99 percent of property taxes, Marlowe said.

With the amount of foreclosures in Hall County, Marlowe is not expecting much more than the budgeted 95 percent collection rate this year, however.

And although she has planned the city’s budget that way, a 95 percent collection rate does not leave much cushion in the city’s bank account.

"Even at 95 percent, it would be a bad year," Marlowe said.

City property owners who have yet to make their payments can do so at the Joint Administration Building, 300 Henry Ward Way, from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. today. After-hours payments can be dropped in the box on the side of the building.



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