on January 1, 2008 by in Uncategorized, Comments (0)

Treasurer collects $2.9 million in one day

WALHALLA — The Oconee County Treasurer’s Office was working overtime New Year’s Eve on Monday.

A steady stream of county residents kept Treasurer’s employees busy again, as many taxpayers rushed to pay their tax bills before the end of the year. By doing so, taxpayers who itemize their deductions will be able to write off the payments from their 2007 income tax returns.

At times Monday, the number of taxpayers was such that a line spilled outside of the Treasurer’s Office at the Oconee County Administration Building at 415 South Pine St. in Walhalla.

County Treasurer Greg Nowell said the scene Monday was a repeat of Friday when more than $2.9 million poured into the county coffers. Nowell said taxpayers showed up personally to pay $1,198,860.32 at the office, while the remaining $1.8 million was mailed in.

The tax bill includes county, city and school taxes.

Nowell said he would keep employees past 5 p.m. Monday to make sure that everything is posted in the computer. He said the taxes could not be deducted for 2007 unless the receipt is posted by Dec. 31.

“We’re working overtime today,” Nowell said.

The Treasurer’s Office expects another busy day Jan. 15, which is the first tax payment deadline in 2008 that does not carry a penalty. A penalty fee is added for payments made after the Jan. 15 deadline.

Nowell said the more than $2.9 million brought in Dec. 28 eclipsed the $1.4 million collected during the same period in 2006.

“That surprised me because last year’s tax bill included school operations, which is now collected by the state,” Nowell said.

As impressive as the amount collected Dec. 28 is, Nowell said it would be twice as much if the county had offered taxpayers the option of paying their taxes online.

Nowell said he’s looking forward to explaining the advantages of offering the public online payments to the Oconee County Council during a workshop Jan. 22.

“We’d like to get (online payments) going so we can work the bugs out in time for next year,” he said.