Property taxpayers in McDuffie County can expect a new due date on their bills this year. In November of 2005, county commissioners approved a plan to make taxes due on Nov. 20 instead of the usual Dec. 20.
That change takes effect for the first time this year. Officials said the plan would push the due date away from the Christmas holidays as well as help the tax assessors' office finish its review of property values and get the tax digest done earlier.
The digest - which predicts the amount of property taxes that will be collected according to assessed property values in the county - is due to the state by Aug. 1. The Tax Assessors' office received an extension this year and had the digest approved by Sept. 1.
Tax Commissioner Sandra Whitaker said the change in when taxes are due just made sense for everyone involved.
"Finally we were able to get everything together, the reassessments over with and people to set their budgets so they could set the millage rate," Mrs. Whitaker said. "We were being able to (take the digest to) Atlanta the first of September or the middle of September, and then we would just sit here with the information.
"...Plus, the city and the county and the schools are all in a budget crunch about this time of year, so this gets them money faster."
She added that tax payers still have 60 days to pay their bills. Tax revenue would begin flowing into county coffers by September instead of October, as in past years.
"They'll just receive the bill a month earlier and pay a month earlier," Mrs. Whitaker said.
She also said people that need to make partial payments on their tax bills can start making those payments immediately. That should allow them to pay the bill in full without the addition of late fees, she added.