By Joy Hampton
The Norman Transcript
NORMAN — Property tax reminders will be showing up in Cleveland County mailboxes this week. The invoices began mailing on Nov. 6 — probably the earliest mail dates for the taxes in recent years.
“We had been working with the other offices to get that (early mailing) to happen,” said Cleveland County Treasurer Jim Reynolds. “Last year we didn’t get the bills out until the end of the month.”
Mona Nelson, chief deputy of the treasurer’s office, said getting the bills out earlier gives Cleveland County residents time to get their money together and allows staff to prepare to accept the taxes.
Tax bills are due Dec. 31 each year, but most people don’t have to worry about paying them.
“About 75 percent of the accounts are paid through the mortgage companies,” Reynolds said.
Those who don’t have a mortgage on their property or who have a note carried by a previous owner likely will have to pay the taxes.
“If there’s a question, they can contact their mortgage company or they can check our website to see if their taxes have been paid,” he said
The website, clevelandcountytreasurer.com, also allows property owners to pay taxes online, but processing fees set by the credit card companies do apply. That same blue tab will allow taxpayers to check on the payment status.
Those who mail in a payment can also check the website to see if those taxes have been posted. Reynolds said people can learn more about property taxes by clicking on the frequently asked questions, or FAQs, tab at the top of the page.
Residents who pay through their mortgage companies should be too concerned. Most mortgage companies are very reliable.
“A lot of the mortgage companies wait and don’t pay until toward the end of December, but mortgage companies get it done,” he said.
Everything is in the system by Jan. 15, Nelson said.
People who want to pay in person can come to the treasurer’s office between 8 a.m. and 5 p.m. Monday through Friday throughout December.
“We just encourage them to come slightly before Christmas, not the week after,” Reynolds said.
At least half of the property tax total is due by Dec. 31.
“If they choose to make the half payment, it needs to be at least half,” Reynolds said. “And that’s to the penny. If it’s not even, they need to round the penny up to make sure it’s not short.”
Those who opt to pay half their taxes by Dec. 31 must pay the other half by March 31.
“We’ll send them a second-half statement,” Reynolds said.
There is no additional charge to break the payments into two parts as long as the first half is paid on time.
“If their total is an odd amount like 35 cents, they need to round it up to the higher penny,” Nelson said. “Our software system won’t even accept it at the lower amount.”
Property taxes can be paid by mail, by phone, online or in person at the treasurer’s office in the Cleveland County Office Building, 201 S. Jones Ave. during regular office hours, 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. As long as checks are dated Dec. 31 and postmark dates are Dec. 31, the property tax will be considered paid on time if received through the mail, Reynolds said.
Reynolds said anyone who purchased property after Oct. 1 will not receive a statement but will still have to pay the taxes and should be aware of that. In many cases, the mortgage company pays the bill and has been collecting that money along with the monthly mortgage payment.
To pay by phone, call 1-800-272-9829 and press 3 for local property tax. The Jurisdiction Code is 4610.
Before paying, people should consider whether their mortgage company is paying the bill, as the treasurer’s office must accept the first payment received and refund the second payment.
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