PASCAGOULA -- Tax bills are arriving in mailboxes in Jackson County this week, as early as Tuesday.
It may not seem like a gift, but paying it before the end of the year often allows homeowners to deduct the amount from their 2015 income taxes.
People whose homes are mortgaged with a bank or mortgage company that collects property tax year-round and rolls it into an escrow account won't receive one. Their bill likely will go to the institution.
County Tax Collector Joe Tucker mailed out 59,000 property tax notices Monday, along with more than 3,000 bills to business and industry for taxes on inventory and equipment.
Tucker said getting tax bills in the mail as early as possible is something he has been working on for years. He and other Coast tax collectors are required to have them out by the end of the month.
Tucker said in Jackson County, the option of paying by phone via credit card is going away because of security concerna.
The county is emphasizing online payments. The charge for using a credit card online is at 3 percent now, but will be reduced to 2.5 percent by mid-month. That charge also goes for using a credit card when paying in person at the tax collector's offices.
The online service and tax collector's counter also will take debit cards for a 1 percent fee. There is no added charge for mailing a check.
Jackson County property tax statements, as in other counties, reflect taxes due from Jan. 1 through Dec. 31, 2015.
Property owners have until Feb. 1 to pay their 2015 property taxes without penalties or fines. Homes or property on which taxes have gone unpaid are included in the county tax sale Aug. 1.
All prior-year property taxes must be paid in full before someone can pay their 2015 property taxes.
For information on prior-year taxes in Jackson County, call 769-3029; for other tax questions, call 769-3199.