A good day for taxes
Feb 22, 2013 | 482 views | 0 0 comments | 3 3 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Although their numbers aren’t necessarily plentiful, some Bradley County residents do indeed enjoy paying their property taxes each year.

Perhaps “enjoy” is too flowery a word. Instead, some take great “pride” in making good on this annual commitment. The thought came to mind because a local resident actually said it in a recent “Letter to the Editor” published by our newspaper. A few have verbalized it.

It also came to mind because Bradley County Trustee Mike Smith and his capable staff are again reaching out to county taxpayers by providing a satellite site Saturday (tomorrow morning) in which area residents may drop off their tax payment by check. The crew will set up near the Kmart entrance at Bradley Square Mall from 9 a.m. to noon.

Of course, those wishing to make their payment at the Trustee’s Office in the Bradley County Courthouse downtown will also have this option Saturday. Times are the same, from 9 a.m. to noon. Those wishing to use the convenience of a Saturday are asked to remember a couple of key points.

One, only payment by check will be accepted at the Bradley Square Mall location. For those wishing to use this option, please bring along your tax statement and your check.

Two, the Trustee’s Office on Saturday will accept all forms of property tax payments — cash, check or credit cards. Also, those wishing to make payments for delinquent taxes may do so at the Trustee’s Office but not at the mall location.

As we have addressed in past editions of our newspaper, the Trustee’s Office for several years has brought innovation, convenience and a people-friendly atmosphere to the seemingly unpleasant task of paying property taxes. Smith’s team isn’t doing it just with satellite sites — although this is surely a taxpayer-approved alternative. The Trustee’s Office also works closely with area residents to provide the partial payment option; that is, the ever-growing practice of paying property taxes on a monthly installment plan much like people do with credit card bills, loans and other forms of incremental financing.

Our readers might remember the last announcement regarding the partial payment plan. Just a few weeks ago, the Trustee’s Office exceeded 500 parcels using this system. This came after only three years. Smith’s original goal had been to reach 500 in five years.

And now, the numbers keep going up. We are told the Trustee’s Office has registered some 575 parcels for this tax payment option which is aiding Bradley County residents at a time when they need such support the most.

But back to those who take pride in making their property tax payments. Their reasoning is sound. Although their checkbooks take a bite, the act of paying property taxes — as explained to us — accents a feeling of belonging.

Some see it as evidence of accomplishment.

Some see it as a privilege — much like voting — because it is a valued slice of American life.

Some see it as a feeling of being “dug in” to a community, of having roots so deep that they help define hometown terms like “resident,” “citizen” and “native.”

Some see it as a means of contributing to a community’s well-being because it pays for schools, roads, social services and progress.

Some see it as a form of self-declaration, an “I am” mindset, if you will.

Of course to many, paying taxes is a drudgery, along lines similar to having a tooth pulled.

To each his own. To each her belief.

Regardless of one’s sentiments, the Bradley County Trustee’s Office is again trying to add convenience to paying taxes. It’s happening Saturday from 9 a.m. to noon at either the Trustee’s Office at the Courthouse or the Kmart entrance of Bradley Square Mall.

We commend the Trustee and his staff for again giving us options.

And besides, both locations offer opportunity for post-tax excursions — whether in the downtown shops and restaurants or the myriad of mall retailers and eateries.