POCAHONTAS, AR (KAIT)- For the past three weeks the Randolph County Tax Collector's Office has been busy. The deadline to pay county taxes has come and gone. But after looking at the numbers that came in, there was a large total of delinquent taxes that seemed to stand out.
"The day it went delinquent it was almost tripled (from last year)," said Randolph County Tax Collector Norma Pickett. Considering this year the tax deadline was extended to October 17th statewide, the numbers for those who have yet to pay their county taxes took her off guard.
"We thought it would be better with the week added, but some people put it off another week and then forgot because the 10th came and went. I'm sure some of it is economic hard times. People are without jobs, our county especially," said Pickett.
"We spent three day sending out delinquent notices. We mailed out about 25-hundred notices," said Pickett. She says since Friday, their office has been busy. There was more money on the tax books this year, which had her worried when looking at the numbers to collect. She thought they were way above normal, but after doing the percentages was surprised.
"We were what we say charged to collect more money this year. The assessment values had risen. The tax base had risen. So even though our numbers were larger, the percentage was about the same," said Pickett.
There was one unusual circumstance this year that Pickett says, for her, was a first. "We have a utility company that has protested their assessed value with the public service commission," said Pickett.
The tax office has been forced to set aside the companies 52-thousand dollar check into a protest fund until it's resolved. She says it's been an on-going feud since June of 2010 and has effected several other counties.
"We were not made aware of it until it came time for the taxes to be collected. So now the taxes are considered to be delinquent. They did not make their quarterly payments. They will be penalized on those as well," said Pickett.
Pickett says for those who have yet to pay their taxes there are several different avenues to get it taken care of. You can mail a check or come by the office at 107 W. Broadway, Pocahontas, AR 72455. You can also make payments online at www.ark.org/Randolphcounty
Pickett says if you have received a delinquent notice you have until November 14th to come to make payments. After November 14th, a list will be delivered to the area newspaper for the November 17th publication of any remaining taxes that need to be paid.