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Property tax deadline looming

Penalties will be added after Dec. 31

Escambia County residents have until Dec. 31 to avoid paying a penalty on their annual property tax bills.

More than $16.5 million was billed in October, and of that, more than $4.8 million in taxes remain outstanding, said county tax assessor Tim Pettis.

“As of Tuesday morning, the office had collected $11.7 million in annual ad valorem taxes,” Pettis said. “Under Alabama law, residents have until Dec. 31 to pay to avoid a penalty. Since the 31st, falls on a Saturday, that means that residents who want to pay in office must do so by Friday or have their mailed payment postmarked by the 31st.”

Pettis said his office will be closed on Mon., Jan. 2, for the New Year’s holiday and reminded residents that paying their bills in Atmore is an option.

“If it’s easier for you to pay in Atmore, do that,” he said. “That office is there for to make things more convenient for our residents.”

There are a number property tax exemptions available to those who qualify, such as the homestead exemption and an exemption for the disabled and one for property owners over 65 who own and live on property. Those who wish to apply must do so in the office and have resided in the property since at least last September.

If one qualifies, one must pay 10 percent of the assessed value of the property, Pettis said.

Those who do not pay by the Dec. 31 deadline will face a 3 percent penalty as well as other fees in January. Penalty fees increase each month until the April tax sale.

Payments may be made in person at the Escambia County Courthouse and made by credit/debit card by calling 251.867.0299 or at the counter in the courthouse. A 2.5 percent fee is added when paying with a credit/debit card.