SIKESTON -- For the most part it's business as usual for area tax collectors although paying taxes should be a bit more convenient for some Scott County residents.
Collectors of revenue for Scott, New Madrid and Mississippi counties confirmed all personal property and real estate tax bills are sent and should be received by taxpayers.
"If somebody hasn't received their bill by now they need to be contacting the office," said Dewayne Nowlin, collector of revenue for New Madrid County.
As usual, collector's offices have seen the November rush of residents who prefer to pay their taxes as soon as they get their bills and are expecting another surge as the end of the year draws near.
"We're probably going to run about $2 million in collections this month," said Scott County Collector Mark Hensley. "Right now we're at $1.7 million."
"We're having about a normal November," Nowlin agreed. "It has slowed down right now which is normal."
"We always have the early birds, then the stragglers," said Faye Elliott, Mississippi County's collector. "In December we'll be busy -- especially the 31st."
Dec. 31 is the last day to pay personal and real estate property taxes before penalties and interest are added, Elliott noted.
"We'll have a ton of mail that will be postmarked Dec. 31," Nowlin said.
With the last day of the year falling on a Monday, those who prefer to pay in person at their county collector's office can do so during regular business hours that day.
Those hours are 8:30 a.m. until 4:30 p.m. in Scott County; 8 a.m. until noon and 1-4:30 p.m. in New Madrid County; and 8 a.m. until noon and 1-5 p.m. in Mississippi County.
Those paying in person at the Scott County collector's office can do so with check, cash or credit card.
When using a credit card, "there is a convenience fee charged to the taxpayer for processing," Hensley noted. "It is 2.75 percent."
Debit cards can also be used but will be treated as a credit card as far as the processing fee, according to Hensley.
All three of these same payment options are also available at the New Madrid County collector's office. "We've been using credit cards for probably the last seven or eight years," Nowlin said.
In Mississippi County, however, it's "no credit cards - just check or cash," Elliott said.
Scott and New Madrid county residents also have the option of paying over the Internet.
Hensley said those using a credit card will be charged the same 2.75 percent processing fee as those who use credit cards in person while those paying with an e-check are charged a flat $2.75 per transaction.
Those living in Scott County will have two new after-hours options this year in addition to the mail and Internet.
Northern Scott County residents will soon have an after-hours drop box at the courthouse, Hensley said.
"It will be right here on the south entrance of the courthouse," he said.
The drop box, which is slated to be installed next week, is for checks only, according to Hensley.
And residents of southern Scott County will soon be able to save themselves a drive to the county seat by paying in person at a Sikeston location which Hensley hopes to have open in a week to 10 days from now.
Hensley said he needs to finalize the deal before announcing the address, but it is centrally located and highly visible. "The hours will be Tuesdays and Thursdays from 4-6 p.m.," he said.
This satellite office will be manned by Hensley personally to "offer a convenience to Scott County taxpayers due to the high price of gas and the inconvenience of driving to Benton."
Those who are concerned about Scott County keeping its costs down need not worry. "It will be nominal cost out of the collector's tax maintenance fund, so there will be no cost to the county's general revenue," Hensley said.