Athens Review, Athens, Texas

January 21, 2014

Chaney: ‘Don’t wait until the last day to pay’

Rich Flowers
Athens Daily Review

Athens — Many Henderson County property owners are reaching for their checkbooks as the Jan. 31 deadline, for paying 2013 property taxes approaches.

Tax Assessor-Collector Milburn Chaney encourages tax payers not to delay making that payment.

“Be sure that you have received all of your tax statements and don’t wait until the last day to pay, are the best pieces of advice we can offer.” Chaney said.

Chaney’s office serves as a consolidated tax office for all taxing entities in Henderson County, such as Athens

Independent School District, Brownsboro ISD,  the city of Brownsboro and others. If too many of those property owners delay until the end of the month, they could be in for a long wait.

“Those people who come in on the last day are certainly welcome to do so, but they should be prepared to wait in a long line,” Chaney said. “We are working with over 100,000 accounts, so it just takes a while when everybody comes in at the same time.”

For those taxpayers over 65 years of age or disabled and this is their homestead, the option to pay out in four equal payments with no penalty and interest is available.

The first payment must be made no later than Jan. 31st. With the other payments due by March 31, May 31, and June 31.

Taxpayers should attach the bottom portion of their tax statements to their payment, whether paying in person or by mail, to ensure their payment is credited to the proper account.

Tax office personnel emphasize that those people paying by mail must have their payments postmarked no later than Jan. 31. Payments bearing postmarks after that date will accrue penalty and interest charges.

“Again, if you are paying by mail, avoid waiting till the last minute,” Chaney said. “Be sure that you have a postal service employee postmark the payment no later than Jan. 31. Don’t just put your payment in the drop box late on the last day, and assume that it will be postmarked with the Jan. 31 date.”

State law imposes a penalty and interest charges on 2013 taxes paid after Jan. 31st, and an additional charge for attorney fees is added on July 1st, Chaney said. On February 1, a 7 percent penalty will be charged on any unpaid tax. An additional penalty will be added each month thereafter. If you can’t pay all of your taxes on time, it’s still beneficial to pay all you can, because the penalty and interest is assessed on the balance due.

  Taxpayers may also pay their taxes online with a credit card at . There is a 3.25 percent fee added to all credit card transactions.

 The Tax office is located at 125 N. Prairieville in Athens. Office hours are from 7:45 a.m. to 4:45 p.m., Monday through Friday. The phone number is 903-675-6134. If no answer, please be patient and try again at a later time, as this is a busy time of the year.