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Property tax revenue rolling in

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By CONNIE ESHThe Wilson Post

The deadline for paying property taxes with no penalty is past and more than 90 percent of Wilson County taxpayers including the 20 with the highest bills have paid their taxes, said County Trustee Jim Major.

“Our collections have been very good this year,” he said.

The county had collected almost $62 million in 2008 property taxes by the end of February this year, while last year by the same date the total was slightly more than $53 million, Majors said.

He added that Middle Tennessee Electric paid the biggest bill this year at $1,058,827, unlike last year when Nashville Superspeedway topped the list. This year Superspeedway is second, writing their check for $937,400 in county taxes.

Major said it isn’t a matter of the Superspeedway getting a lower bill, though. “Middle Tennessee Electric paid more this year and passed them up,” he said.

For the past several years, MTEMC has been at the top of the list or close to it as one of the county’s highest taxpayers. This year, MTEMC’s tax payment was just ahead of the Superspeedway, officials with the cooperative said in a news release.

The electric cooperative, which distributes power to most of Wilson County, pays out ad valorem (Latin for “according to the value of”) taxes annually. The tax is based on the assessed value of MTEMC infrastructure — buildings, substations, transformers, poles, lines. In addition to the amount MTEMC paid to Wilson County for 2008, tax payments were also made to Lebanon for $50,080 and Watertown received $3,666.95.  The cooperative’s total ad valorem tax payout across its service area was approximately $4.1 million.

Middle Tennessee Electric serves approximately 180,000 residential and business customers in Cannon, DeKalb, Maury, Rutherford, Smith, Trousdale, Williamson and Wilson counties.

Major also said that the tax payments for 2007 continued to come in through the year so as of now over 99 percent of 2007 taxes were paid.

“We send out three notices and that helps,” he said. “Most often when someone hasn’t paid on time it’s because they forgot. When they get the notice they come in and say, ‘Sorry, I thought my husband already paid,’ and write out the check”

He pointed out that at the end of March each year he turns in all the unpaid tax bills that are over one year past due for collection.

“That means anyone still owing 2007 taxes has until the last week of this month (March) to pay them if they don’t want to be turned in for collection,” Major said.

Staff Writer Connie Esh may be contacted at cewrites@wilsonpost.com.

Wilson County’s Top 20 Taxpayers

1. Middle TN Electric    $1,058,8272. Nashville Superspeedway  $937,4003. Bridgestone    $626,0654. Cracker Barrel               $500,5775. Lebanon HMA   $428,3856. Lochinvar    $315,6317. Texas Eastern (utility)   $285,5638. Nashville Auto Auction  $275,0059. Rockdale Distributing   $232,52810. Aldi Inc    $228,86211. Bell South    $212,41812. Park 840, PH I    $208,00813. Piedmont National (utility)  $205,44614. TRW, Inc.    $188,01715. Commerce Farms   $181,16916. Fellers, Schewe Scott (apt. complex) $171,66817. Prime Outlets    $159,72018. DCT Eastgate LP   $152,20819. Hunters Creek Apartments  $144,22720. Lebanon Industrial, LL  $142,482

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