Escrow accounts may not cover spike in property taxes - WTVM.com-Columbus, GA News Weather & Sports

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Escrow accounts may not cover spike in property taxes

By Zaneta Lowe  - bio | email | Twitter

COLUMBUS, GA (WTVM) - If you pay your property taxes through your mortgage company, instead of in one lump sum at the end of the year, be prepared to get a letter in the mail this week from the Muscogee County Tax Commissioner's Office.

"What we're doing is we're mailing out what we refer to as the green sheet. We're mailing that out to homestead and homeowners, property owners earlier this year," explains Chief Deputy Tax Commissioner Tony Floyd.

Floyd says the green sheets are normally mailed to homeowners who handle their property taxes through an escrow account in December.  However, he says they're getting a jump start on notification since homeowners aren't getting the tax relief credit this year.

"Our telephone volumes have already increased, we've been explaining what's going on with the governor's tax relief credit," adds Floyd.

Notices have already been mailed to homeowners who pay their bills directly, but those who pay through an escrow account may notice a change too.

"What's going to occur is that their escrow, for those that do escrow, their taxes are included in their mortgage payment, there will be an adjustment," explains Coldwell Banker's Cathy Hodge who is also a board member with the local Mortgage Bankers Association.

Basically, Hodge says, there may not be enough money in escrow to cover the difference from not getting the relief credit.

Hodge says that shortly after getting that letter from the tax commissioner's office, homeowners should be on the lookout for a letter from their lender.

"You will get that escrow analysis statement from your mortgage company that says this is the amount that's in there now, this is the amount that we have to pay and for us to have enough to pay that amount, here are the adjustments, either up or down."

Hodge says either way, now's the time to start preparing.

"Those people that are really tight on their bills, it will of course make a difference in their monthly budget. So when they get that, they need to immediately start re-addressing their budget for that change."

If you do have questions about this issue, contact your lender or the Muscogee County Tax Commissioner's Office at 706-653-4211. 


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