Tax receipts up $1.2 million

Tax collections in Brown County are up about $1.2 million over this time last year.
Brown County Treasurer Connie Patrick said that her office collected  $18,959,454.45 for taxes due for the last half of 2016.  That compares to $17,766,054.88 collected this time last year.
The vast majority of that money will go to local school districts and other entities that depend on property tax levies for funding.
The county general fund will receive 3.8 percent of the collections, which amounts to $720,459.27.
Patrick said that she knows where some of that higher total came from.
“We collected about half a million dollars on the sale of the hospital, so taxes got collected on that sale,” she said.
Patrick added that outsourcing the delinquent tax rolls to a private company for collection has helped as well.
“We’ve also been working with Tax Ease Ohio and I believe that has helped in the collection of delinquent taxes,” she said.
She said she noticed another factor this year that may be in play as well.
“The fact that more people were able to pay for the full year this year rather than pay it in two increments also contributed the increase.  There were several more that did that this year,” Patrick said.
“I thought that we had a lot more people earlier in the collection cycle coming to the office to pay.  From the beginning of January, we were busy every day with people paying their tax bill in person.  Normally, a lot of people wait until the last week before coming to the office to pay.”
Patrick said that just because collections in January were higher, it doesn’t necessarily mean that the trend will continue when taxes come due again this summer.
“For July, we expect to collect about $15 million for the second half payment.  Seeing how much we bring in at that time will give us a clearer picture of how well the county is doing financially,” she said.
Patrick added that there are still many delinquent tax accounts in the county and that landowners should call if they are having a problem with making the payments.
“I would like to get the message out there to people who are struggling to pay their taxes that there are ways we can work with them and help them,” Patrick said.
“People that have serious delinquency issues have the option to enter into a formal payment plan agreement.  They pay a percentage of their delinquency to begin the program and then make a payment every month om both their delinquency and current charges.”
Patrick said that a delinquent tax bill can be dealt with, no matter how far behind a landowner is.
“Call us with any questions for concerns.  We are here to help,” she said.
The telephone number for the Brown County Treasurer’s Office is (937) 378-6705.