The 1996 property tax bills are coming to a mailbox near you.
Augusta tax officials mailed 78,226 consolidated bills Friday.
Urban district property owners - those with property in the old city limits of Augusta - will receive a single bill that reflects both urban district and suburban district taxes, instead of a city and county tax bill as in the past.
"If your property is in the former city, don't look for two separate bills this year," said Tax Commissioner Jerry Saul. "You will be getting one combined bill from the tax office, and that bill should be the exact same dollar amount this year as you paid in 1995 unless your assessment or exemptions changed."
Taxpayers have 60 days - until Nov. 15 - to pay without penalty. After that, a 10 percent late penalty will apply to all taxes on the bill. Each month the bill remains unpaid, 1 percent interest is added, Mr. Saul said.
If the bill is paid on or before Oct. 3, a 1 percent early-payment discount applies. And for the first time in years, urban district property owners may receive the discount, Mr. Saul said.
The bills reflect no changes in net millage rates from last year.
The consolidated bills total $75.55 million - $2.28 million more than the total the two former governments billed last year and about $4.5 million more than was billed in 1994. The increase is due to increased assessments and new properties being added to the tax rolls, according to tax officials.
This year, Richmond County public schools will get $50.15 million; Augusta government, $24.57 million; the state of Georgia, $689,697; and downtown revitalization, $118,660.
If you have not received your bill by Wednesday - unless it goes to your mortgage company - call the tax office at 821-2391.