County sheriff offers residents warning on taxes

NEW CUMBERLAND – Note to those Hancock County residents who haven’t paid their personal property or real estate taxes for 2013: You’re now officially delinquent.

Friday was the last day to pay taxes for 2013 before the accounts become delinquent and the names are published in local newspapers, Sheriff Ralph Fletcher said.

In West Virginia, the county sheriff is also the treasurer and, therefore, is responsible to collect taxes set forth by the county.

Fletcher said the earlier in the year individuals pay their taxes, the more they can take advantage of discounted rates and the less they pay. After a certain point, interest is accrued at 9 percent per annum – a compound interest determined every year that the payment has not been made, he said.

“Many of the things we value in our community are supported by our local tax dollars,” Fletcher said, “including our libraries, the Hancock County Animal Shelter, the Hancock County Sheltered Workshop and our schools.”

With tax season in full swing, the sheriff’s department has been busy collecting personal property and real estate taxes for several weeks. The tax office is on the first floor of the Hancock County Courthouse.

The first installment of the 2014 taxes becomes delinquent if not paid by Oct. 1. The second installment becomes delinquent if not paid by April 1, 2015, Fletcher said.

West Virginia residents also use the tax receipt from the previous year to renew the registration on their vehicles, he said.

(Huba can be contacted at shuba@reviewonline.com)