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Property tax collections down

The money collected from the first-half real estate tax collection period that ended last month is running slightly behind what was collected for the same period last year, Lawrence County Treasurer Stephen Dale Burcham told the Lawrence County Commission Thursday.

Burcham said collections amounted to $11.8 million. Last year the county collected $14 million during the first-half tax period.

“A lot of people sent in their full taxes,” Burcham said. “I got notes from people who realized the county was in bad shape and they were sending it all in. It is good to get those kind of notes. We sometimes get phone calls from people asking why their taxes are too high so its good to get those notes.”

The treasurer’s office has initiated its direct debit system that allows property owners to pay their taxes by having it taken directly from their checking account.

Those who want to pay by credit card will be able to do so beginning next month.

In other matters, the commission agreed to ask the Workforce Development Resource Center to assist those at Mended Reeds who might be losing their jobs in the coming months.

The commission also agreed to send a letter to Gov. Ted Strickland, opposing a plan to raise the bed tax for nursing homes. Under a state proposal, the tax would be raised from $6.25 to $11.50 per day per bed, whether it is occupied or not, Commissioner Les Boggs said.

The commission will also send a certificate of congratulations to Felicity Jenkins, the Symmes Valley student who recently finished seventh in the state spelling bee.