Lauderdale County property owners will have to deal with something Colbert County residents are already used to if they go to the courthouse to pay their property taxes in person this year.
About two months ago, Lauderdale County moved its security checkpoint to the front doors of the courthouse, which means you must pass through security to get to the Revenue Commissioner's office.
"This is the first year we will have security to get to my office," Lauderdale County Revenue Commissioner Danny Hendrix said.
He said that's the biggest change taxpayers will notice this year as far as paying their property taxes.
A security system at the main entrance of the Colbert County Courthouse has been in place since April 2017.
"They've gotten used to it," Colbert County Revenue Commissioner Tommy Oswalt said.
He and Hendrix said tax payments must be made in person by Monday, Dec. 31, paid online or sent by mail and postmarked Dec. 31 to avoid a penalty. The Colbert County Courthouse closes at 4:30 p.m. while the Lauderdale County courthouses closes at 5 p.m.
Both revenue commissioners said there is an additional 2.5 percent fee attached to all online payments. Online payments can be made through PayYourPropertyTax.com.
Lines at both revenue commissioners' offices varied in length Wednesday, but are expected to increase as Dec. 31 nears.
"It's not as busy as I thought it would be the day after Christmas," Oswalt said. "It will pick up Thursday and Friday."
For residents in the east end of Lauderdale County, Hendrix said there is a kiosk with a computer terminal at Rogersville City Hall that can accept online payments.
"Not many people are using it," he said.
Hendrix encouraged residents to have their account number handy when using the kiosk.
Both commissioners said they're seeing more people paying their property taxes online.
If for some reason a property owner misses the deadline, they will face a penalty equal to 1 percent of the taxes owed, plus a $5 fee in Colbert County and a $25 fee in Lauderdale County.
Oswalt said property owners who turned 65 prior to Oct. 1 should inquire about a partial income-based homestead exemption.
"Not everyone qualifies for a full exemption," Oswalt said.