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Changes coming for tax collections and trash bills in Independence County

Featured image: Former Bank of America drive-thru parcel being purchased by Independence County

The Independence County Quorum Court met Monday night at the Independence County Library to handle both June and July business items.

One item of business was the approval to purchase the former Bank of America drive-thru parcel, located between The Food Lot and the former Bank of America’s main branch. The bulding will be reconfigured to process drive-thru access for assessing and tax payments.

“The purchase of the BOA parcel is that it is an opportunity to give better service of paying taxes and assessing by having a drive-thru facility,” Independence County Judge Robert Griffin said. “This ease of payment and access will bring us into the 21st century on our 200th birthday. It will not require more employees. As a short-term benefit, considering the COVID-19 emergency, it will help protect employees and the at-risk public.”

“It’ll be kind of like an express lane where people can get in line, get in and out. You know parking is pretty bad there on Broad Street during [the] fall rush. It’s hard for people to get in and out,” said Independence County Tax Collector Paul Albert.

The drive-thru facility will not initially be operational all the time, but will be available during peak assessment and tax-paying times.

Griffin told White River Now’s Gary Bridgman Tuesday morning that all of the “tubes” are still working, but there are still many repairs to be made before the building can be open to serve the public.

There would also be room on the parcel to create a place for monuments, allowing the county to honor contributions by individuals from law enforcement, the fire department, emergency services, past wars, and more, Griffin said.


The judge also noted the parcel could be paid for with lease payments from the collector’s and assessor’s offices, both of which are self-funded. Griffin told Bridgman the county received an extremely good deal on the parcel — $50,000.

Other official business included the approval of a resolution to provide interim filling of a vacancy of the elected office of the Independence County Sheriff during times of emergency and other purposes.

The court also discussed a new billing process that will ultimately make paying taxes and trash bills more convenient for county residents, voting to change the way county trash bills are handled.

For many years, residents have had to pay their trash bills separate from their tax bills.

It was noted personnel have received many comments from taxpayers about combining the two and have also conducted a somewhat unofficial survey about adding the trash bill to the real estate tax bill, and most all taxpayers seemed to agree that paying one bill was better than paying two.

The change will not go into effect immediately, but soon Independence County taxpayers will no longer need to worry about a separate annual trash bill.

white river now with all logo 2020 (JULY)

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