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With less than a month until due date, not even a fourth of taxes have been paid

With less than a month before ad valorem taxes are due, less than a quarter of the total amount billed out has been collected by Grady County Tax Commissioner Phyllis Gainous’ office through last Friday.
A total of $13,649,331 was billed out and 14,673 tax bills were mailed on Oct. 20. This figure represents ad valorem taxes due to Grady County, the Grady County Board of Education, the cities of Cairo and Whigham and the state of Georgia, according to Mrs. Gainous.
Through the end of last week, Mrs. Gainous reported that only $2,231,682.11 had been collected.
Tax officials say that collections begin to ramp up closer to the deadline and they do not expect this year to be any different.
The Messenger this week obtained a copy of the top 25 taxpayers in the county and the list includes some new taxpayers and some significant shifts in rankings from last year.
The top 25 are paying nearly $40,000 more in ad valorem taxes this year than they paid last year. Combined, the top 25 will pay $1,534,843.18 in 2014 compared to $1,495,412.01 in 2013.
The appraised and assessed value of the property owned by the top 25 taxpayers did not increase significantly, according to figures shared by Mrs. Gainous.
The total appraised value of the top 25 this year is $165,876,145.00 compared to $165,721,362.00 last year.
The assessed value collectively stood at $66,350,462.00 this year compared to $66,288,542.00 in 2013.
According to the tax commissioner, some of the top 25 taxpayers are not waiting until the due date to make payment and three of them have already settled their tax debt in full.
Those top taxpayers who have paid in full and currently owe no taxes are Ira Higdon Grocery Company, Performance Food Group, and Capital City Bank.
New to the ranks of the top 25 taxpayers this year are Knight Forestry and Flexible Technology, which replaced Farmers Peanut Company and Springwood Plantation, both of which dropped below the top 25 ranking this year.

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