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Tax payment deadline draws closer as courthouse closes at 4:30 p.m. today
Tax payment deadline draws closer as courthouse closes at 4:30 p.m. today

County Collector Terri Mitchell receives a tax payment from Crocker resident Leon Layman on the last day to pay taxes.
PULASKI COUNTY, Mo. (Dec. 31, 2009) — Pulaski County residents have less than two hours left to pay their personal property and real estate taxes if they want to do it in person at the courthouse in Waynesville.

Lines in County Collector Terri Mitchell’s office have been lengthening in recent days as the tax deadline approached, but are traditionally the longest on Dec. 31. People living in cities such as St. Robert which also charge property tax must pay municipal property tax bills as well and usually must pay those bills in their local city halls to the local city collector. This year, Crocker aldermen voted to delegate their city property tax collection to Mitchell’s office, so Crocker city residents need to pay their city taxes to the county collector, who then processes the payments and passes them on to Crocker.

While Mitchell’s office will close at 4:30 p.m., people can still mail their tax returns without a late penalty if they’re postmarked on Dec. 31.

That provides a convenient option for people who arrive slightly late in downtown Waynesville, where the post office is right behind the courthouse and remains open until 5:30 p.m. Postal hours elsewhere in Pulaski County vary — the post office in the county’s largest city of St. Robert is already closed — and people who plan to drop their check in the mail should check with their local post office to verify collection times.

For really, really late filers, the only option left after the post office closes is to use the internet or a pay-by-phone automated number, but both of those options involve an extra payment to use a credit card or electronic check since state law doesn’t allow county collectors to include the processing fee of 2.75 percent charged by credit card companies or $2.75 fee for electronic checks as part of the tax bill.

Regardless of how people pay — cash, check, or credit card, or in-person, by mail, or electronically — Mitchell said residents need to make their payment since she has almost no discretion under state law to waive penalties for late payments.

“It’s very important to get this in today so you’re not assessed extra penalties and interest,” Mitchell said.

Mitchell’s internet payment portal, which contains directions for making credit card payments and additional directions on payment procedures, is located here:

http://www.pulaskicollector.com/page14.html

Crocker resident Leon Layman was among the many last-minute people paying their property taxes at Mitchell’s office today.

“It’s something you’ve gotta do,” Layman said while waiting for his turn at Mitchell’s window at the collector’s office.

Layman, who said she’s known Mitchell for nearly 30 years and is a lifelong Pulaski County resident, was able to quickly pay his bill and said that’s typical at the collector’s office.

“It looks like they’re doing okay,” he said.

Mitchell said her staff haven’t had time to count how many people paid their taxes as of noon on Thursday, but said collections until today have been running about the same as previous years.

“We’re very busy,” Mitchell said.

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