Tax form revamped

Published 10:34 am Monday, December 10, 2012

JACKSON – The Northampton County Tax Department has revamped the property listing form for the upcoming year.

On Monday, Tax Administrator Cathy Allen presented the Northampton County Board of Commissioners with the new tax form that includes a list of tax exemptions and exclusions.

In the past the commissioners have dealt with numerous late application appeals for various exemptions and exclusions, including those applying for the elderly or disabled homestead exclusion and the disabled veterans homestead exclusions. Many of the appellants often say or list lack of knowledge of the exemptions as the reason for not applying by the June 1 deadline.

The appellants are asked to provide “just cause” with their late applications to the Board of Equalization and Review (the Board of Commissioners). The board has decided in the past lack of knowledge or ignorance of the exemptions and exclusions do not provide just cause.

On the property tax listing form those who are eligible for the exemptions and exclusions are required to fill out section “I”.

Allen said the Tax Department has tried to get the word out through advertisement in local newspapers and on the form itself by way of boldfacing the note on exemptions on the letter portion.

During a work session, before Allen presented the revised property listing form, the commissioners discussed the current tax form and noted few items on the form.

They asked County Manager Wayne Jenkins and County Attorney Charles Vaughan to meet with Allen about those items in order for citizens to better see the exemption information.

At Monday’s meeting, Allen presented the form, which now has a separate sheet attached listing the different tax exemptions and exclusions along with the requirements property owners need to meet in order to be eligible.

“This is even better than what we were talking about,” said Jenkins in response to the revised document. “Good job Ms. Allen.”

The commissioners agreed.

“We certainly thank you Ms. Allen,” Commission Chair Robert Carter said. “We want our citizens to be informed and we try to do everything we can to make sure they are informed as in what they need to do when it comes to listing of taxes, filing exemptions or what have you.”

He continued by saying, “Personally, we have too many of these late exemptions coming in after the deadline and of course with this information it is clear and they will be able to see what this Tax Department expects.”

Jenkins noted the commissioners should prepare to continue to deal with late applications because “a lot of people are not going to file an exemption or request for application and it’s going to be back before you as it is before now.”

Allen also noted there are some citizens that do not read the listing form at all.

Commissioner Fannie Greene questioned if section “I” could be highlighted in red.

Allen said she could check with the printer who makes the forms.