Independence County: Official yearly trash bill payments not available online until 2021

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Until 2021, Independence County officials are advising citizens to stay offline when trying to pay their yearly trash bill.

County Tax Collector Paul Albert told White River Now Thursday morning that a citizen who gets a yearly bill from the county for providing trash pickup service cannot pay that bill online since the county does not have a current contract with such an online company.

Albert told White River Now’s Gary Bridgman that a man recently told Albert he had paid his trash bill online.

The collector said to Gary B.: “I thought, ‘Oh no, what’s going on. We don’t have such a system to pay one’s current 2020 trash bill online.’”

Albert said he went online and discovered a company that is a legitimate third-party management company that bills and collects online payments for other companies or governmental entities.

The problem is, according to Albert, Independence County does not have a contract with any company to collect trash bill payments.

Albert told Bridgman that Independence County citizens should use another method to get their trash bill payment to the county, such as bringing or mailing the payment to his office at 110 Broad St. in Batesville. For any questions, his office can be reached by calling (870) 793-8823.

County Judge Robert Griffin noted Thursday morning that Independence County will have the ability to process online payments in 2021, but until then, he said he has notified the prosecutor’s office about a company accepting online payments for trash billing in the county “…in case there is action we can take to protect our taxpayers.”

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Albert also told Bridgman that tax payments are coming in very well with the office about $1.5 million ahead of last year’s collection figure as of Oct. 1. He said his office has collected about $14 million to date of the $24 million due.

The vast majority of ad valorem taxes collected goes to public schools operating in Independence County.

The last day to pay 2019 real estate and personal property taxes, without penalty, is Oct. 15.


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