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Deadline for property taxes approaches

Friday is the last day to pay property taxes without a penalty, and Revenue Commissioner Sherry McSwean said that the courthouse will be open until the very last minute.

“There are a lot of people that think we will be closed New Year’s Eve, but we’ll be open until 4:30 p.m. on Friday,” she said.

The courthouse will be closed on Monday, Jan. 3 and will reopen on Tuesday, Jan. 4 at 8 a.m.

“If you come in Tuesday, there will be a penalty of $5 and one percent interest,” McSwean said.

For those who can’t make it to the courthouse before Jan. 1, there is another option.

Crenshaw County launched www.crenshawcountyalonline.com earlier this year, and taxpayers can pay taxes online.

“We’ve had a really good response so far on the site,” McSwean said. “We’ve gotten over $10,000 collected through the site, and almost all of that came from people who live out of town.  I think it’s worked well for the first year.”

However, the website payment option will not work after Dec. 31 — after that date, taxpayers will have to visit the courthouse in person to deal with the penalties.

In addition to property taxes, Friday is the deadline for current land use applications, including agricultural use on large-tract land, and homestead exemptions.

McSwean said she has heard reports of companies calling landowners and asking to serve as their representative for applications for a fee.

“Property owners can apply for current use themselves,” she said. “If someone calls and asks to be a representative, it’s a scam.”

Business owners also have until Friday to file business personal property in order to avoid a penalty.

For more information, call the Revenue Commissioner’s office at 335-6568 or visit www.crenshawcountyalonline.com.