Even though they'll be paying interest and fees many find it easier to make equal monthly payments than pay the amount in full in this economy according to Wake's Revenue Director, Marcus Kinrade.
A slow housing market has left many builders with new homes sitting empty and has delayed construction on new projects. Builders still have to pay taxes on those homes and the undeveloped land. Some homeowners have lost their jobs and may not afford to pay their bills in full.
Tax bills are delinquent as of Tuesday.
Kinrade tells Eyewitness News that for the month of December they set up payment plans for 501 customers totaling $3.1 million in tax dollars. For the two business days the revenue department has been open in January, they've worked out monthly plans for 269 customers totaling $986,000.
Kinrade says customers will make equal monthly payments from January through June. "We will still have the money by the end of the fiscal year and that's what's important," Kinrade said. The new fiscal year begins July 1.
Kinrade points out Wake county is collecting more money than the last two years. "Last year we collected 73.2% of taxes owed, in 2008 we've collected 78.4%," he said.
Wake County is charging two percent interest the first month and ¾ of one percent the following months plus fees. "This is not a bailout," Kinrade said. "This is a way to help companies and individuals who may be struggling right now. It also keeps them and the county from having to go to court to collect past due bills."