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Residents have a couple more days to pay their taxes without having interest added to their bills for delinquent payments.
The deadline for residents' tax payments is Wednesday.
Catawba County tax administrator Mark Logan said more people paid their tax bills as the year ended, and the county continues to collect payments.
Tax collection increased more than 2 percent this year in comparison to last year.
Logan said, as of Dec. 31, about 70 percent of tax money owed to the county was collected, which increased from about 67 percent collected during 2009.
Logan said the office is most crowded at lunch time and in late afternoon when people get off work. Morning hours, he said, are a good time to pay bills in person to avoid waiting in lines.
There are several ways for residents to pay taxes, including in person at the Catawba County Government Center, by mail or online.
"We continue experiencing a moderate increase (in the number of people paying their taxes online)," Logan said. "But some people still come down to pay their taxes in person."
North Carolina law requires interest be added on bills unpaid after Wednesday at 5 p.m. The interest rate for January is 2 percent, and the rate for each following month is three-fourths of 1 percent.
Personal property listing abstracts for 2011 were mailed Dec. 30, and residents can expect to receive the abstracts the first week of January.
Owners of double- and single-wide manufactured homes, boats, personal water craft, multi-year tagged trailers or unregistered automobiles, trucks, utility trailers, campers, motor homes and motorcycles in 2010, who still own that property this year, must list their property in January.
Owners who don't receive a listing abstract by Friday should call (828) 465-8402 to have a listing mailed to them.
Property owners can incur penalties if their property isn't properly listed.
Tax payment options:
At the Catawba County Government Center
The Catawba County Tax Office is located in the Government Center at 100-A Southwest Blvd. in Newton. Office hours are 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday.
Residents can submit their tax payment when the office isn't open at a drop-in depository, which is located to the right of the county Government Center's main entrance. The drop-in depository can be used only if the payment is a check or money order and no receipt is needed.
Residents can pay their taxes through the mail by sending their payment to P.O. Box 368, Newton, NC 28658. Payments must be postmarked no later than Jan. 5 to avoid the added interest charge.
Residents can pay their tax bills online at www.catawbacountync.gov. The Online Payments link is on the left-hand side of the web page. The link prompts users to enter the first 10 digits of their tax abstract number, last name and tax year. That information is included on the tax bill or can be searched for online.
A nonrefundable convenience fee will be included in the bill payment by Catawba County's payment processing partner, Govolution.
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