Oak Ridge property tax bills have been mailed, and property owners should have received them by now, city officials said this week.
Taxes are due by July 31. Fines will be added to taxes paid after that, a city press release said.
Property taxes are used to support city services ranging from street maintenance and garbage pickup to city departments and police and fire services. They are also used to help support the Oak Ridge school system.
Many residents pay their property taxes directly, while others pay through a mortgage escrow account.
“Both groups get a notice of tax due, however, and it remains the responsibility of the property owner to ensure the taxes are paid,” the press release said.
A small number of residents won’t receive a tax bill. The city said there are several reasons that this might happen, including changes in property ownership or address. The tax bills are mailed to addresses supplied by the state of Tennessee for the owner of record as of January 1, the city said.
The property owner still has to pay the taxes, regardless of the city’s ability to deliver the notice, the city said. Oak Ridge Business Office Manager Marlene Witt said Tennessee state law is very restrictive, and there is not much the city staff can do to help someone who did not receive a notice or who received it late.
“We work diligently to find the correct address of owners when the bills are returned to us, but frequently penalties may accrue before we are able to deliver the notice,” she said. “This is an unfortunate situation, but our hands are tied by state law and there is little we can do other than try and offer understanding for the situation.”
Anyone who has not received a tax bill should contact the city’s business office immediately.
More information is available through the Oak Ridge website, www.oakridgetn.gov. The city tax specialist can be contacted at (865) 425-3404.
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