The City of Oak Ridge announced today that all property tax bills have been mailed and should have been delivered to property owners for this year.  Taxes go to support the operation of many City services- from street maintenance to the library.  The Police and Fire Departments, refuse removal and disposal, recreation and parks, and many other City activities are all supported by the property tax.  A portion of the tax also goes to support the Oak Ridge School system.

The Business Office is ready for the annual rush, according to Manager Marlene Witt.  “Paying taxes is no one’s favorite thing to do,” she said.  “With trained, helpful staff and specialists who can answer your detailed questions, we hope to make the task, if not pleasant, at least as painless as possible.” 

According to Ms. Witt, many citizens pay their property taxes directly, while taxes for others are paid through an escrow account associated with their mortgage.  “Both groups get a notice of tax due, however, it remains the responsibility of the property owner to ensure the taxes are paid,” she said.

City staff cautions that a relatively small number of property owners may not receive a tax notice.  There are several reasons that this might happen.  For example, by law, property tax bills are mailed to the owner of record as of January 1st; if the property may have changed hands since that date, the new owner may not receive the notice.  In other cases mailing addresses change and, of course, other delivery problems also occur.

Regardless of the ability of the business office to deliver the notice, it is still the responsibility of the property owner to make the payment in a timely manner.   If someone has not received a tax bill by now, they should contact the City's business office immediately. 

The last day to make full tax payments without penalty is August 31.  Penalties start to accrue on September 1. 

Further information is available through the City's website at
www.oakridgetn.gov.  The tax specialist at the City can be reached at (865) 425-3404. 

Media contact: Candice Brogan at (865) 425-3546 or cbrogan@oakridgetn.gov.