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Collector sends out tax bills
PULASKI COUNTY, Mo. (Nov. 8, 2008) — More than 16,000 people received their personal property tax bills in the mail Thursday or Friday.

“They’re out, and we’ve had many calls about them already,” said County Collector Terri Mitchell.

People are calling the county collectors’ office for a variety of reasons, Mitchell said — sometimes because they haven’t yet received their tax bills, and in other cases because they aren’t sure the tax bills are correct.

“When people have questions about the amount, we’re double-checking and if they still have questions, we refer them to the assessor’s office,” Mitchell said.

In Missouri, tax preparation and assessment is done by two different people, both of whom are elected by the voters. Tax Assessor Roger Harrison, who was re-elected Tuesday for another four-year term, supervises staff who determine how much real estate such as land, houses or business property is worth and how much personal property such as cars, livestock and office equipment should be assessed. Mitchell’s role is limited to sending out the bills and collecting the tax payments, which are due in her office by Dec. 31.

About 20 people had already paid their bills by Thursday morning, Mitchell said, though some people might not receive their bills in the mail until next week. People who haven’t received a tax bill by the end of next week should call her office to find out if there’s been a problem, Mitchell said.

“We contract with a commercial mail service that saves us quite a bit on the postage,” Mitchell said. “But we do process the printing, the folding and the stuffing in this office.”

Taxpayers have four ways to pay their bill:

• Those who come in person to the collector’s office may pay by cash, check, credit card or debit card.
• People may pay their bills by mailing them back to the collector’s office in the courthouse.
• An Internet site, www.pulaskicollector.com, is available to take payments, but payments on that site can only be made by credit card, not by debit card or other methods.
• The collector’s office has a toll-free number, available from Mitchell at (573) 774-4711, that taxpayers can use.

Those who pay by credit or debit card will have a 2.75 percent service fee added that goes to a card handling company, not the collector’s office. Unpaid taxes accrue penalties and interest at a rate of 2 percent per month up to a maximum of 18 percent per year.

The collector’s office is open for extended hours on Saturday, Dec. 27, on the weekend between Christmas and New Years’ Day. The office, which is usually closed on Saturdays, opens that day from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. The office will be closed this year on the day after Christmas, however, following county policy for courthouse employees.

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