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Wednesday, May 4, 2016

Collecting the county's money

Thursday, January 10, 2008

Misty Hower, Oregon County Collector Jerry Richardson, Dana Roberts
Reporter's note: This is the second article in a series focusing on the elected offices in the Oregon County Courthouse.

ALTON -- The office of collector is a county-wide, elected position with a four year term. The Oregon County Collector's position is currently held by Jerry Richardson.

The Oregon County Collector of Revenue has the responsibility in his official capacity to collect property taxes, both locally and state assessed, for the state, county, and all other political subdivisions in which tax levies have been certified by the state of Missouri.

The collector is also responsible for billing, accounting, distribution and maintaining permanent records for the county.

"The monies collected are distributed monthly to all taxing entities such as schools, roads, libraries, state, county and others," Richardson said.

He said in addition to property taxes, the collector also receives and distributes payments in lieu of taxes from various state and federal entities, merchant licenses and other miscellaneous fees.

Current and recent tax records are kept in the collector's office. Permanent tax records are kept on microfilm in the county courthouse and with the state.

Richardson said the collector makes every effort to collect all delinquent taxes within the legal authority of the office.

"The office of the collector provides services to help make the collection process more timely and efficient. Regular information is supplied to mortgage holders in order to process payments in escrow accounts for home owners and businesses," he said. The collectors office has a public workstation for inquiries concerning payments, property description and other public information.

Richardson said starting this past September, Oregon County residents could pay their personal and real estate taxes online by credit or debit card or by electronic check. "There is a service charge for online payments. This charge will be added to the payment and will be paid to Official Payment Corporation for this service," he said.

The Oregon County Collector's office makes every effort to mail out property tax statements at the same time each year. Oregon County residents usually receive their statements between Nov. 5 and Nov. 15.

The county assessor establishes the assessed valuation of all property by May 31 and gives the tax books to the county clerk for certification. The certified tax books and certified tax levies are received from the county clerk's office in September by the collector. The collector's office then begins the process of printing and processing tax bills and current information to the taxpayers.

Property taxes are billed either "Personal Property" or "Real Estate" taxes.

"If a taxpayer has more than one parcel of real estate, they will receive a bill for each. If the real estate is located on both sides of a sectional line, city limit line, school district, etc., a bill will be made for the property of the proper taxing entity," he said.

Richardson said taxes may be paid in his office during regular business hours Monday through Friday. He asked that anyone coming in to pay their taxes bring their statements with them to avoid the possibility of an error in making their payment.

Richardson said if a problem or error is found in a billing, he asks that it be brought to his attention before the bill is paid.

"When paying taxes by mail please use a check or money order. Please do not send cash. Payments received by mail must be postmarked by the last day of the month in order to be posted paid in that month and to avoid additional penalties," he said.

Richardson was first elected Oregon County Collector in 1986. Dana Roberts serves as deputy collector and Misty Hower is the office clerk.

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