Automatic property tax payments get a step closer

Anderson County Trustee Regina Copeland’s plan to allow tax payers to make monthly payments on their property tax bills got a step closer Monday night.

The county Operations Committee approved sending the request to full commission.

The plan will allow property tax payers to have a portion of their estimated tax bill withdrawn automatically every month and placed in an escrow account.

Copeland said the amount would be the estimated bill divided by 12 (for the months) and would be based on the previous year’s tax roll.

After the tax bills are determined on October, tax payers will know how much they still have left to pay and could adjust the final two payments accordingly.

Copeland told the committee this measure would help not just those on fixed incomes, but also “People like myself. I’m going to enroll in it.”

She pointed out that the monthly payments should also prove beneficial to people who own multiple parcels of property.

Copeland has been working with TNBank to set up the system.

As it stands the only monthly payments that will be gathered are through automatic bank drafts and/or payroll deductions with county employees.

That could change.

District Five Commissioner Robert McKamey asked if the payment system could work for people wanting to pay cash.

Currently it does not.

“But I’m not going to turn away any tax money,” Copeland laughed. “We’ll make that happen.”

McKamey said he “hangs around” with a lot of seniors and they “don’t like people being in their bank accounts.”

Copeland said her office will “find” a way to make monthly cash payments work.

Anderson County Attorney Jay Yeager praised the move.

“Regina, this is awesome,” Yeager said. “I think we’ll (the county) do a lot better on tax collection.”