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So far, so good for Gainesville property tax collections

POSTED: January 1, 2009 5:00 a.m.
SARA GUEVARA /The Times

Finance technician Mary Nulty, left, prints a receipt while Gainesville resident Margarita Aguirre counts out money to pay city property taxes Monday at the Joint Administration Building.

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Judging by the lack of a line at Gainesville’s tax office Monday, one would not expect city property tax payments to come in anywhere near what the city needs to operate.

But Gainesville’s chief financial officer says it is likely that property tax revenue will be right on target this year, despite the economy.

Of the approximately 12,500 property tax bills sent to city property owners, 9,000 were paid as of Monday, according to Melody Marlowe, chief financial officer for the city.

Many of those payments were made by mail, hence the short lines Monday at the Joint Administration Building, Marlowe said.

"Based on the mail volume last week, it appears taxpayers postponed payments until close to the due date, then mailed payment to our office," Marlowe wrote in an e-mail.

The revenue from the collected taxes is nearly in line, though slightly below, the revenue the city garnered from property taxes at the same time last year, Marlowe said.

At the end of the day Monday, the city had collected 83 percent of its projected property tax revenue.

Marlowe said the collection rate indicates the city should meet its revenue goal of 95 percent of property taxes by the end of the fiscal year.

The city collected 84 percent of property tax revenues by the due date last year — a year in which the city collected 97.7 percent of its expected property tax revenues, Marlowe said.

"The good news is we expect to meet budget for property tax revenue," Marlowe said.



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