LUMBERTON — Robeson County and Lumberton property owners who have not paid their county taxes and want to do so in person and deduct that money from their state and federal taxes for 2017 have today and Friday to get that done.
But even if they miss that deadline, there are other options to pay and deduct the money — by going to the county or city’s web pages, paying over the phone or by mail as long as the letter is postmarked on or before Dec. 31.
The county and city government offices, including Tax, are closing at the end of the day on Friday and will not reopen until Jan. 2.
Cindy Lowry, the county’s tax administrators, said the line of folks who have not yet paid their personal or real property taxes is shorter this year than last year.
According to Lowry, through November, 60.92 percent of the county’s property taxes had been paid, which is higher than the 58.77 percent that had been paid through November 2016. She believes the uptick is because the county Tax Office has been aggressive in getting people who are struggling to pay their taxes to agree to a payment plan that the county provides.
Those who want to wait until after the new year begins can still pay their taxes without penalty, but they need not delay.
County taxes must be paid by Jan. 6, which is a Saturday, to avoid a 2 percent penalty. After that, there is an additional penalty of .75 percent that is imposed on the first day of each month the balance is unpaid. The penalties are the same for the city of Lumberton, but the late fee is not imposed until after Jan. 8, which is a Monday.
For those who don’t want to stand in line at either the county or city Tax Office, the payments can be made through government web pages. They also can be mailed. If the payment is postmarked by Dec. 31, the taxpayer can deduct the amount from his or her 2017 state and federal taxes.
The taxes also can be paid by telephone with a credit or debit card, but there will be a fee attached. To pay county taxes by phone, call this toll-free number, 866-349-0705. To pay city taxes by phone, call this toll-free number, 866-734-8607.
Those who want to pay taxes in other municipalities in the county in person and deduct the amount from state and federal taxes don’t need to be in a hurry. The town offices of Maxton, Fairmont, Rowland, Pembroke, St. Pauls and Red Springs will all be open next week after Christmas Day.
Donnie Douglas can be reached at 910-416-5649 or at ddouglas@robesonian.