This week we have the opportunity to learn about the Newberry County Treasurer, who is an elected official responsible for mailing tax notices, collecting all revenues for the County and the municipalities within Newberry County. Who could be more appropriate than Newberry County Treasurer Karen Lindler after 24 years employment in the Treasurer’s office? She will begin her second term as treasurer beginning July 1, 2013.
The County Treasurer is accountable for mailing tax notices, collecting all revenues for the county and for its municipalities. This includes current and delinquent real estate taxes, personal taxes, motor vehicle taxes and other revenues for County Departments and renewal of license fees on motor vehicles for the State of South Carolina.
Detailed records are kept, maintained, and balanced, for these revenues and disbursed to County Government, the County School District, Municipalities and special projects according to levy, local ordinances and South Carolina laws. Any revenues not needed for immediate disbursement, are invested to receive the highest interest rate possible.
The Treasurer’s Office also generates refund checks to tax payers for various reasons that are determined by the Assessor or Auditor, provides tax information to the public and legal professionals, provides county officials and independent auditors with figures required to carry out their duties, and submits reports to the various State Offices.
Each year the office mails out over 75,000 tax notices.
“We collect about $5 million dollars in vehicle taxes. We collect over $36 million dollars in Real Estate taxes and around $951,000 in delinquent real estate. The grand total of taxes we collect per year is around $42 million dollars,” said Lindler.
The treasurer does not determine property tax amounts.
The amount of tax money needed is decided by each of the area’s taxing authorities. The Assessor’s Office determines Appraisal values for real property while the Auditor calculates tax. The County Council, School Board and each one of the councils of the municipalities determine how much revenue is needed to meet their individual budgets. If taxes are increased, these entities are solely responsible for tax increases.
The treasurer is responsible for mailing notices, collecting all revenues for the county, and the municipalities with the boundaries of Newberry County. Detailed records are kept, maintained, and balanced for these revenues and disbursed to County Government and County School District, Municipalities and special projects according to the levy, local ordinances and South Carolina laws.
Any revenues not needed for immediate disbursement, are invested for the highest interest possible. It is essential to be involved with the latest Legislative issues, and attend workshops and seminars pertinent to the laws and issues pertaining to the Treasurers’ Office.
Property tax dollars are collected to fund the following:
To support administration of the Newberry County Government.
To support the Newberry County Public School System.
To build and repair public building for the county.
To build and repair Newberry County Public Schools.
To pay expenses of court, county jail and law enforcement.
To provide fire protection to Newberry County Citizens.
To fund Hospital and ambulances services for Newberry County citizens.
To pay salaries of county employees.
To pay salaries of school district employees.
The time table for collecting property taxes:
Real property taxes and personal taxes, other than auto taxes, are due from October of each year until Jan. 15 without penalty. The following penalties will be added after Jan. 15. Jan. 16 through Feb. 1 will be 3 percent penalty. Feb. 1 through March 16 there will be 10 percent penalty. After March 16 all property and personal property (expect vehicles) will be turned over to the Delinquent Tax Collector for collection with 15 percent penalty and $10 cost added.
Taxes on motor vehicles and recreational vehicles must be paid before your license plate can be renewed. The taxes are due by the last day of the month in which your tag expires. The Treasurer’s Office is now responsible for the issuing of decals. This means when you paid the taxes on vehicles, you now receive your vehicle registration and your decal for your tag. This service eliminated customers from having to go to the Department of Motor Vehicles to receive their decal. This is very convenient for the tax payer.
Taxes are due on newly purchased vehicles.
There are two taxes due when purchasing a vehicle, property tax with the County Treasurer and sales tax with the DMV. When you purchase a vehicle from a dealership, they are allowed to pick up your registration and license tags without paying the local property taxes.
When the dealer states that they are taking care of your taxes, they are referring to South Carolina sales tax, which is paid at the local DMV. This allows you a 120 day grace period to delay payment of personal property taxes on your new vehicle.
Laws for investing county money:
The county treasurer may invest or reinvest any sum of money not necessary for current expenses in:
(1) Obligations of the United States and its agencies. General Obligation of this state or any of its political subdivisions. Saving and loan associations if their deposits are insured by an agency of the federal government.
(2) The governing body may delegate the investment authority provided to the county treasurer who shall assume full responsibilities for the investment until the delegation of authority terminates.
(3) The state treasurer may assist local governments in investing funds that are temporarily in excess of operating needs.
Payments to Treasurer’s Office:
The taxpayer can pay in office with cash, check, money order, debit card or online.
“During my first term as Treasurer I had the office set up to accept debit and credit card payment over the counter. There is a 2.5 percent convenience fee if a debit or credit card is used. We cannot adjust the taxes to include the fee, therefore the fee is charged separately. The fee is remitted to a third party vendor, not Newberry County. There has been a lot of positive feedback about the convenience of using debit or credit card,” said Lindler. “In conclusion, I would like to say that the Treasurer’s Office is the one county office that most of our citizens must deal with each year. My staff and I will always do our best to earn and maintain your trust by efficient, helpful service. The office always has an open door policy for tax payers. Please feel free to contact me for questions at 321-2130 or email- email@example.com.”