By Friday afternoon, 71 percent of Hall County property taxes had been paid, and though there are still more to process, Tax Commissioner Keith Echols said he thinks there will be more late tax payments this year than in the past.
"It’s a little bit worse than what I thought it was going to be," Echols said.
Hall County residents flocked to the tax commissioner’s office Monday to pay their taxes by the Dec. 1 due date. Echols said more came in throughout the week to pay them late.
"We still have mail that we haven’t posted yet," Echols said.
He said 87,281 bills were mailed out, and so far 61,291 have been posted.
It’s hard to predict what tax revenues will come out as until all the payments are collected. But the high number of delinquent taxes, those paid after the due date, that Echols is expecting this year will strain a county budget already suffering from diminishing revenues.
"It’s already hard. We started taking one day a month furlough in October," Echols said, pointing out the measures the county has already taken to combat its financial shortfalls. Echols said he expects about 20 percent more residents will pay their taxes late this year, but no numbers are final yet.
Hall County Purchasing Manager Tim Sims said the county planned on receiving fewer tax dollars this year when creating the budget.
"From a budget standpoint, we were expecting about 96 percent to pay versus our normal 97.5 percent collection rate," Sims said of the overall collection expectation for the year.
Echols said he expects his office will finish processing the remaining mailed tax payments by the middle of next week.