County tax collections up this year

Published 12:00 am Saturday, April 12, 2008

Lawrence County’s first-half tax collection period has ended and the take-in this time around was approximately four percent higher than it was for the same period last year.

Lawrence County Treasurer Stephen Dale Burcham said this year, first-half real estate tax collections amounted to $14,072,616.70, compared to $13.5 million for the 2007 first-half collection.

“I think there are a number of reasons. There was a reassessment of properties this was part of the reason for the increase. Also, we have continued to remain diligent in collection of delinquent taxes and I think the recent tax sale got some people to owed back taxes to come in and pay up,” Burcham said. “I’m really pleased with how well collections went.”

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Most of the money from real estate taxes goes to the county’s seven public school districts. The remainder is divided among various county agencies, such as the health department, Lawrence County Board of Mental Retardation and Developmental Disabilities and the county’s general fund.

Among the banks that accept tax payments from customers as a courtesy to the county, Liberty Federal Savings Bank in Ironton was the top single point collector, taking in $196,000 in taxes. Oak Hill Bank in Proctorville was the second highest single-point collector. However, U.S. Banks as a whole collected $432,000 in real estate taxes. Area banks processed $1.535 million in tax payments during the first-half period.

While the books are now closed on the first-half collections, Burcham said his staff will soon begin processing second-half tax bills. Those bills should be mailed out in June.