Woodward, Okla. —
Woodward County Treasurer Sonya Coleman said that property tax collections have gotten off to a good start this year.
Since property tax statements were mailed out in mid-November, Coleman said her office has seen a number of citizens coming in to make payments.
"Collections have been going good so far," she said, noting "From right off the bat this year, we've been pretty busy."
However, there are others who could use a reminder that the first payment deadline is fast approaching.
"At least the first half of their tax payment is due by Dec. 31," Coleman said.
She explained that residents who owe property taxes of more than $25 have the option to split the amount owed into 2 equal payments. The first payment is due by the end of the year and the second payment is due by March 31, 2013, she said.
However, those who owe less than $25, must pay in full by Dec. 31.
Payments may be made in person at the County Treasurer's office in the courthouse during regular business hours. Or payments may be mailed to 1600 Main St. Suite 10, Woodward, OK 73801.
For those concerned about making their payments on time, Coleman said, "we will accept a post mark of Dec. 31 as meeting the deadline."
Property owners who fail to make an appropriate tax payment by Dec. 31 will be charged a 1.5 percent interest penalty per month for the outstanding balance.
Anyone who owes property taxes "should have received their statements by now," Coleman said.
However, if you are a Woodward County property owner and you have not received a tax statement, Coleman said it is important to contact her office as soon as possible.
Those with questions about their tax statement or payment options are also encouraged to contact the county treasurer's office at (580) 256-7404.
"If we can do anything to help somebody, please call us," Coleman said.
Coleman said her office mailed out more than 20,000 property tax statements this year.
"We're looking to collect $22,655,469 in property taxes this year," she said.
This total collection amount is "up a little over $1 million" from a year ago, she said.
"The increase probably would have been more if it hadn't been a decrease in evaluations from the tornado," Coleman said.
But the fact that the tax base has increased even with the major losses from the April 15 tornado shows that "we're a growing place," she said.
"We've got quite a bit of new construction going on between new houses and new businesses," Coleman said. "And that ups the tax property valuations in the county."