Most Lee countians paid property taxes on time | News, Sports, Jobs
The deadline for filing property taxes in Lee County was this Wednesday, and after a pandemic year that saw the number of criminal properties grow, Lee County tax collector Noelle Branning said things are going back to normal.
From 2018 to 2019, the percentage of real estate and business tax levied fell. For the tax year 2020, the percentage of property taxes levied has risen again to the usual number.
“The Lee County Tax Collector is committed to providing exceptional service to tax collectors through financial transparency and innovation with a valued, professional workforce.” Said Branning. “If you look at the total collections of the past few years, the global pandemic in the 2019 tax year resulted in a slight increase in accounts for criminal real estate and tangible personal property. With the 2020 taxes due by March 31, 2021, I am pleased that our collections are normalizing. “
From 2018 to 2019, the share of property taxes levied fell from 96.23% to 95.51% and was 96.59% for 2020. In terms of businesses, 97.91% of property tax was levied in 2018, compared to 96.94% in 2019. For 2020, 97.24% of business tax was levied.
In terms of actual dollar amounts, both property tax and business tax have increased each year since 2017. In 2020, a total of $ 1,516,270,593 in property tax and $ 71,713,262 in business tax was levied.
In 2017, the total US dollar real estate tax was US $ 1,319,976,963 and commercial property tax was US $ 57,647,490.
Branning’s office collects property taxes on behalf of the tax authorities. The real estate appraiser determines the real estate valuation of a person or a company.
The dollars collected are then returned to the tax authorities (county, township, law enforcement, parking department, etc.) to help fund their operating budget.
Tax returns are sent on or before November 1 of each year, and taxpayers are offered discounts if paid early.
“We see our highest volume of payments in November and December when people take advantage of the discounts.” Said Branning.
Branning said a “Boom” In the real estate market in the region, the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic has prevented a surge in crime. She said she was interested to see how the next year in terms of material property taxes (corporations) and how many entrepreneurs could not withstand the economic dangers of the pandemic.
“We’re Seeing So Many People Moving to Lee County” Said Branning. “We meet or exceed the pro-COVID numbers when it comes to customers visiting our offices.”
Those who haven’t paid their property taxes before the deadline are now stepping into the crime and have until May 17th to do so while fees are incurred.
On May 18, the office will hold a tax certificate sale, with bidders from across the state and country bidding on tax certificates at the lowest interest rate.
“This ensures that taxpayers are least affected and gives the (owner) time to pay their taxes.” Said Branning.
This does not mean that a property or a house is for sale. A person buys the certificate at the lowest interest rate and makes money based on that interest rate until the taxpayer redeems (pays) the certificate.
“People see it as an investment opportunity” Said Branning. “According to the law, we must issue the certificate with the lowest interest rate that is offered.”
An individual must have a tax certificate for two years before filing for a tax return (as well as paying out any other outstanding certificates). This is a separate process by the Lee Clerk where a Certificate Holder can then track ownership of the property (as well as other bidders at auctions).
A property owner can also repay his tax certificate including the accrued interest at any time.
“Selling tax certificates is a really important feature because that’s when the taxes for the year have been paid so we can fully fund all of the tax authority’s budgets.”
For more information about the Lee County Tax Collector and property taxes, please visit www.leetc.com.
–Connect with this reporter on Twitter: @haddad_cj