OBITUARIES: Decatur | Shoals | Huntsville
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Rush against tax deadline
Shoals property owners line up at offices to avoid penalties
By Tom Smith - TNValleyNow.com
Matt McKean/TimesDaily
People wait in line at the Lauderdale County Courthouse on Thursday to pay their property taxes before the end of the year. Property owners have today and until 5 p.m. Monday to pay their taxes before getting stuck with a penalty.

Thursday was a normal day at the Lauderdale County Revenue Commission office — at least, normal for the end of the year, according to Commissioner Danny Hendrix.

“There were people lined up all the way past the probate judge’s office to the front foyer of the courthouse hallway and even outside the front door waiting to get in,” Hendrix said. “But then that’s a typical end-of-the-year rush.”

With two days left to pay 2012 property taxes without a penalty, people throughout the Shoals area were lining up to beat the deadline.

Officials at Colbert County Revenue Commissioner Bill Thompson’s office said they didn’t have lines, but they had been steady all day.

There was a little more traffic than that at the Franklin County Revenue Commissioner’s office.

“We have been covered up. Since 9 a.m. it has been nonstop,” Franklin Revenue Commissioner Gene Ellison Jr. said.

He said at the slowest point Thursday afternoon there were only two people at the counter of his office.

“But there were times when there were a lot more than two people at the counter,” he said.

At times Thursday, Ellison said, the line was all the way down the hallway of the first floor of the courthouse.

“Everyone seemed to wait until today, but our (employees) have done a good job of keeping the lines moving, and no one has had to wait a long time,” Ellison said.

Hendrix said he expects the traffic to be heavier today and Monday at his office.

“I’ve been here 15 years, and it has been like this for 15 years. I guess it will always be like this,” Hendrix said.

Ellison said property owners have until Monday at 5 p.m. to pay their property taxes or face a penalty.

The penalty in Colbert and Franklin counties is $5 plus 1 percent of the taxes due. In Lauderdale County the penalty is $25 plus 1 percent of the taxes due.

“If they don’t want to stand in line, they can pay the late fees or they can buy a stamp and mail the taxes in,” Hendrix said. “Just as long as it is postmarked by 5 p.m. Monday there will not be a late fee.”

Tom Smith can be reached at 256-740-5757 or tom.smith@TimesDaily.com.

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