Come on, weve all got to pay our fair share

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, March 25, 2008

&8220;Taxes, after all, are dues that we pay for the privileges of membership in an organized society.&8221;

Franklin D. Roosevelt

There are few things in life as unpleasant as paying taxes.

I have only known two people that felt they never paid enough in taxes; one was my late father, the other my bride. A clear conviction that paying a fair amount of tax was a reasonable expectation, and that in doing so they were helping to make their community better, at least partly led both to this philosophy. Others of us believe we should pay our fair share, but no more.

Their stance always seemed a bit foreign to me, but their motivation centered on the premise that paying one&8217;s fair share to fund schools, keep streets repaired, keep criminals behind bars, etc. is the least a person should do.

That seems reasonable enough.

Paying taxes is the price of being a citizen and living in a free society [even if it is not one&8217;s favorite thing to do].

It is also the law.

Others still choose not to pay their taxes, for which they are responsible, and this group is larger than we might think. Some 1,652 pieces of property in Shelby County have outstanding taxes due for this past tax year. Those properties, the owner&8217;s name and the amount of tax due are listed in today&8217;s newspaper on pages 6B-11B; such will be published for the next two weeks for any remaining properties with unpaid tax. Owners of these properties can still pay any delinquent tax [Certified checks/money orders should be made payable to Property Tax Commissioner. Mailing address is Post Office Box 1298, Columbiana, Alabama 35051-4088. The physical location is 102 Depot Street, Columbiana, Alabama 35051-4088. Office hours are 8:00 a.m. – 4:30 p.m. M-F]. Property taxes in Shelby County are due on October 1 of each year and become delinquent on January 1.

A tax sale will be held for all unpaid tax properties on the steps of the Shelby County Courthouse on May 1 beginning at 10 a.m.

Regardless of your perspective on taxes, the old saying remains true that there is no escaping death or taxes. If you happen to have property subject to the upcoming tax sale, the best advice you can receive is to pay your property tax and avoid the coming tax sale; doing so is part of what is expected of citizens.