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Tax Time

By: Lindsay Liepman
By: Lindsay Liepman

April 15th isn't the only tax deadline, for local property owners.

June 30th is d-day to pay taxes for 2004.

If you're waiting until the last minute, your time is running out.

Nothing hurts worse than the sting of tax day.

"You have to do what you have to do," said one taxpayer.

Brazos County property owners all have to pay, but they can choose a split payment plan that gives them a little more time to ante up.

But if you want too long, you're hit with a heavy penalty.

"People like to hold onto their money until the last minute unfortunately it causes problems," said Kristy Roe with the Brazos County Tax Office.

Just a day late, can mean 18 percent interest will be added, and in a month another 15 percent in interest will also be tacked on for attorney's fees -- no matter the excuse for paying late.

"We have people who got into a car wreck on their way to pay their taxes or got the flu and just couldn't make it," said Roe.

Still reluctant, others say it's just better to fork it over.

"Like a ton of bricks, boom off my brain," said another taxpayer.

Now the real work begins for the tax office because they too are on a deadline.

"We'll be seeing thousands of pieces of mail coming in and we'll be scrambling to get that posted," said Roe.

Just in time for Tax Season 2005.

If you still haven't paid, there are a couple of options for you.

You can drop off your payment at the tax office in the deposit window before midnight tonight.

The office is located behind the courthouse.

Or you can pay online by midnight...that website is www.official payments.com\echeck.

If you use your personal bank online, it may still be late.

Before then, the tax rate has to be set and that depends on area property values.

Thursday was also the deadline to protest your property value.

The values will eventually determine what you'll pay in taxes for 2005.

Most people mail in their protests but if you haven't and you still have a problem, just give them a call.

Some issues can be resolved without protesting.

During July the Appraisal District will hold hearings to determine if they need to adjust property values.

And at the end of the month, the property values will be certified and sent to local governments.


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