Daily Progress, Jacksonville, TX


January 14, 2014

Rusk, Jacksonville tax offices extend hours for Jan. 31 deadline

CHEROKEE COUNTY — County tax offices in Rusk and Jacksonville will be open through the lunch hour to better serve property owners trying to pay without penalty before a Jan. 31 deadline.

The main office, located at 135 S. Main in the Cherokee County Courthouse in Rusk, is open Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., while hours at the Jacksonville branch – at 301 W. Commerce –  are from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday through Friday.

Property owners have the option of paying in person, mailing payment or paying online. However, to avoid penalty, payment must be received by Jan. 31, said Cherokee County Tax Assessor-Collector Linda Little.

Residents are advised to bring the pink statement they received in the mail whether paying in person or  sending payment by mail.

“The pink is for county taxes, and the blue is for the school district – we don't take the blue, which are accepted by the Cherokee County Appraisal District in Rusk, which collects for schools and cities,” she explained, adding that Bullard ISD taxes are assessed and collected by Smith County.

Online payments will be considered within deadline if they bear a time-stamp before 11:59 p.m., Jan. 31, Little said.

To pay taxes online, property owners can go to a direct link, www.cocherokee.org/tax, or log onto the county website  at http://www.co.cherokee.tx.us and click on the Tax Assessor-Collector link to access information about their account, using different information. Payments can be made with a major credit card (Visa, MasterCard, Discover) or a debit card; a convenience fee, assessed by the vendor, will be charged for each transaction.

Property owners who are 65 and older “have a bit of release” from filing deadlines, as they are allowed to pay quarterly payments, thus exempting them from penalties, Little said.

Property tax notices were sent out Oct. 1.

On Feb. 1, late payment penalties at seven percent will apply. The penalty rises to nine percent in March, 11 percent in April, 13 percent in June and 15 percent in July. By this point, Little said, a collection agency is called in to deal with accounts in arrears.

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