Property tax bills for Richmond residents are being sent out a month early, which is the first time this has happened in several years, according to city finance director Mike Broyles.

The bills, which will come in the form of a green postcard, should arrive in mailboxes over the weekend or the beginning of next week at the latest, he said.

Those who pay their property taxes before Oct. 31 will receive the standard 2 percent discount.

The face amount of the bill is good through Nov. 30, but penalties and interest will be added to the bills beginning Dec. 1.

Property taxes usually are not mailed out until November, but the county property valuation administrator’s office was able to get the figures out earlier this year, Broyles said.

“Anyone who doesn’t have their tax bill by next Friday should call us (the city finance office, 623-1000) and we can check the address,” Broyles said.

When property tax bills are mailed, they are issued to the person who owned the property as of Jan. 1.

If a name other than the current homeowner is on the bill, the owner should forward the bill to that person.

“If they have a mortgage where they escrow their property taxes, they need to forward this (the property tax bill) on to the mortgage company themselves,” Broyles said.

If a bill comes back undeliverable, then finance office personnel try to do some backtracking to find the correct mailing address, but the worst-case scenario is when a bill goes unpaid, he said.

“It stays an unpaid tax until the property is bought and sold and they do the title search,” Broyles said. “That’s usually when these (unpaid taxes) are found. They have to be paid before they can get a clear title to the property.”

Broyles said he hopes that by being a month early, people will have more money to use toward Christmas shopping.

“I’ve had a lot of people in the past say: ‘You always send these out right at Christmas time,’” he said. “This will give them about five weeks of discount time.”

Those who are entitled to the Homestead Act or a disability exemption should make sure that the information stating so is on the property tax bill.

“If it’s not on there, they need to go to the PVA’s office and get it corrected before they pay the tax bill,” he said. “That would lower their taxable assessment, and it’s easier to fix before the tax bill is paid.”

Ronica Shannon can be reached at rshannon@richmondregister.com or 624-6608.

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