by Jackie Nunnery
HEATHSVILLE—The Northumberland board of supervisors on January 13, unanimously, 5-0, endorsed a proposal to move up the due date on personal property and real estate taxes from December 5 to November 5. The proposed change still requires a public hearing which will be held at the board’s February 10 meeting.
Treasurer Ellen Booker Kirby had previously been asked by the board to look into twice-yearly billing for taxes. “I have been contacting other localities and gathering information. The more I learn, the more overwhelming it becomes,” said Kirby. In addition to requiring an approved budget earlier, “no later than April 1,” the change to twice-yearly billing would also increase the amount of postage and require new tax forms.
Kirby also explained how her office has simplified the process over the years. “We put personal property and real estate into one envelope” as well as putting multiple parcels owned by the same individual into one tax bill, “turning 19,000 parcels into about 12,000 tax bills.” More frequent billing would affect the ability of the treasurer’s office to do those things. “We would have to go back to one bill for each parcel,” she said.
Instead of twice-yearly billing, Kirby suggested billing earlier….[to-view-more]