County’s tax office posts collections rate of 99% for the first time on record

The head of Alamance County’s tax office seemed to have some extra pep in his step this week as he approached the county’s board of commissioners to present his annual report on the county’s property tax collections.

Jeremy Akins, the county’s tax administrator, ultimately attributed his ebullient mood to a particularly good collections rate for the fiscal year that ended on June 30. In fact, Akins told the commissioners that this period saw his office bring in fully 99 percent of the taxes which local property owners had been assessed – a first in the two decades or so that the county has kept track of this figure.

Akins recalled that, during the course of this 12-month cycle, his staff had collected a total of $90,820,016.05 of the $91.736311.70 in property taxes it levied.  He added that this sum represented an increase of $1,442,200.55 from the previous year – an increase of .30 percent over the previous year’s rate of 98.70 percent.

Akins insisted that this seemingly miniscule increase is actually quite an achievement for him and his staff, who have eyed the 99-percent threshold ever since he took over the county’s tax office.

“One hundredth of a percent is a point to us, and to go up 30 points is very exciting,” he told the commissioners. “We consider ourselves to be back on track for what we were shooting for.”

Akins told the commissioners that his staff’s latest collection rate compares favorably with the five counties that he considers most comparable to Alamance – where the average collections rate currently comes to 98.64 percent. He nevertheless conceded that his own 99 percent haul pales next to Pitt County, which is leading the pack with a collections rate of 99.42 percent.

“We’re doing well compared to the average,” Akins went on to note, “but we have things to continue to shoot toward.”

The commissioners, for their part, congratulated Akins on his achievement in increasing the county’s collections rate. They also gave him permission to write off $112,768.91 in unpaid taxes from 2012 which are about to reach the statute of limitations for enforced collection.