Lufkin residents lined up today to pay property taxes. Some paid hundreds, some paid thousands. "You feel like you've been milked when you walk out of here," Patricia Wideman, an Angelina County resident explains. Today was the deadline to pay taxes for 2007 and the tax assessor's office says that money is crucial to the day to day maintenance of the county. "It's used to operate the county, whatever's needed. There's a lot of things within the county like the jail. Our money doesn't go to the tax office. It goes to every function in the county," Midget Sherman said.
Down to the last hour East Texans filed in to pay their taxes. The office says that's pretty common. Sherman explains, "End of December is real bad too. Everybody either wants it at the end of the year so it can make for income tax or the end of January. They kind of like to hold onto their money." Those in line agree. They didn't want to let go of the money until they absolutely had to. Wideman says, "So I can earn the interest on my money. If I pay my taxes when the tax statement comes in then they can earn the interest on my money. I think most people do that so they can keep what interest they can have on their money as long as they can."
Waiting until after today to pay will mean even more money in the end. "There's a 7 percent added to your annual tax and then after that there's a 8 percent, 9 percent. Each month it adds up a little bit more," Sherman explains. The tax office says you can mail in your payment and as long as it's postmarked today you won't get any late fees. If you are delinquent on your taxes, on top of the fees, you won't be able to renew your vehicle registration, or even purchase a hunting or a fishing license.