SLIDELL, La. -- There’s been a steady stream of homeowners filing into the sheriff’s office in St. Tammany Parish to pay their property taxes at the last minute.
Colleen Shurr is one of them. She’s been disputing her assessment amount.
“I feel good about it," she said. "My husband called me and said 'Go pay that tax bill. They're going to be closed for Good Friday.'"
But the sheriff’s office, which collects taxes in St. Tammany, says there are almost 5,000 people who haven’t come in yet. Because of a new law regulating how a tax collector handles delinquent bills, being late could cost you big.
"We have found properties that we've done the research on where a tax bill of $300, for example, could generate as much as $350 of additional fees," said St. Tammany Parish Sheriff Jack Strain.
The new law says if you don't come through these doors on time, the burden is not only on you, but on your area tax collector.
“The tax collector has to take additional steps to research the property for all of the owners and then notify them of the status of delinquency," Strain said.
That means more work, which becomes a higher cost, and eventually, turns into a higher tax bill for late payers. So a consequence that used to be a small late fee and interest for being behind schedule is now an almost tripled late fee, interest and extensive mailing costs, all on top of your original tax amount.
Government offices in St. Tammany Parish are closed for Good Friday, so your last chance to pay property taxes, in person, is Monday before 4:30 p.m. You can also pay online anytime, until Monday at 4:30 p.m., by clicking this link.