Tax bills deadline is now Jan. 19

Published 9:54 am Wednesday, December 6, 2017

During a special called meeting Monday, the Charlotte County Board of Supervisors approved to again extend the due date for real estate and personal property taxes in Charlotte County, this time to Jan. 19.

“It’s been a lot more involved than we ever anticipated,” said Charlotte County’s Treasurer Patricia Berkeley.

She said in May, the tax bills system was updated. Berkeley said the county has been using the same company, RDA systems, since 1994.

“This conversion has been totally different,” she said. “… We’ve experienced a lot of delays.”

She said the staff at the Commissioner of Revenue’s office has been working overtime in order to get all the information ready to come to the Treasurer’s office.

“It’s been quite a challenge to both offices,” Berkeley said.

“We have turned over real estate to the treasurer,” said Charlotte County’s Commissioner of Revenue Naisha Carter. “Friday we started computing some personal property and ran into a small issue that we needed to address …”

“We have a lot of prepayments to apply to the personal property, so our office is going to need several days to distribute those credits from the previous tax year into the current tax year,” Berkeley said.

She said that in order to ensure accuracy, she didn’t want to rush the process, but she was hopeful that information could be sent to the printers as early as the end of this week or Monday of the following week.

“The printer will mail 3-4 business days after I approve the proof,” said Berkeley.

She said there was a possibility the statements could be mailed around Dec. 15. “With the Christmas holidays, there’s a larger volume of mail this time of year we don’t normally have to contend with because we’ve already did the process and finished.”

She said individuals could still pay before the end of December.

Keysville Supervisor Butch Shook said it is the responsibility of the citizens “to get them paid if they want them in to this tax year.”

Information from the county stated that in order to use the taxes as a deduction for 2017, they would need to be paid by the end of the calendar year.

Presently, Charlotte County is the only locality using the current, updated system.

“In 2003, the board did let us do an RFP,” said Berkeley. She said two vendors responded she had never heard of.

“I was really surprised that some of the smaller scale vendors that would be more suitable for our locality did not submit a bid,” she said. She noted the bids ranged from $500,000 to $1 million, and that was not practical for the county.

“The financial piece of this software works fine,” Berkeley said. “A lot of school divisions use RDA systems for their financials. The financial piece of it is ok, it’s always been the tax side.” She said the company has been working on the program for two years.

With the original due date being Dec. 5, Berkeley said an extension of up to 90 days was allowed.

“I know citizens are upset, and I’m sorry that this has occurred,” she said.

Chairman of the Board Gary Walker said if the date was pushed back too far, other issues would arise such as mortgages.

“We’re doing what we can to work with all of the mortgage lenders to provide to them a file,” said Berkeley.

“We’re talking about people’s budgets,” said Walker. “Not everybody has money set aside to pay these bills.”

According to the county’s website, county taxes are billed twice each fiscal year. Taxes are typically due Dec. 5 for the first half of the fiscal year and June 5 for the remainder of the year.