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Columbia property tax collections ahead of last year

Columbia property owners paid the town’s tax collector $221,936 before interest and penalties began accruing in early January, town manager Rhett White reported to the board of aldermen on Jan. 7.

The revenue represents 72.94% of the $304,282 anticipated in the annual budget ordinance adopted last June.

A year ago the collection rate was 63.48%, and for the two years preceding that it stood at 71.4% at the end of the penalty-free payment period.

The 2018 property tax collections expected to be received during the current budget year make up 46.2% of the town’s $658,492 General Fund budget.

Other revenue sources in that fund include motor vehicle tax, prior year taxes, penalties and interest, state street aid (Powell Bill), beer and wine tax, business registration, cable television franchise, and interest on investments.

During the Jan. 7 regular session the aldermen shifted $27,500 from reserves to pay for recently having Godfrey Avenue resurfaced with asphalt.

A report filed with the Local Government Commission by Ellen Bell, town finance officer, showed deposits in regular savings, certificates of deposit, and checking accounts totaled $3,402,046 on Dec. 31. Another $312,750 was invested in two North Carolina Capital Management Trust portfolios.