Just a reminder: If you plan to pay your Jackson County personal property taxes in person this week, there’s one less day left to do that than you might think.

Just a reminder: If you plan to pay your Jackson County personal property taxes in person this week, there’s one less day left to do that than you might think.

County offices are closed Friday, as employees are off for New Year’s Day.

That means taxpayers have until 5 p.m. Thursday if they want to pay in person at either the Courthouse Annex at 308 W. Kansas Ave. in Independence or at the downtown Courthouse at 415 E. 12th St., Kansas City. Office hours are 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.

The county mailed out personal property tax bills in November, and they are due at the end of the year.

The county encourages people to pay online – go to www.jacksongov.org – using either e-check or a debit card, and there is a later deadline for that. Taxes have to be posted by 11 p.m. Friday. After that, the website closes, and when it reopens in the new year, taxes owed would also be subject to interest, penalties and fees. Paying by e-check comes with a fee of 40 cents (the amount it costs the county), and paying by debit card costs the 2.4 percent that the bank charges.

Tax statements are sent out with a return envelop, and payments can be mailed in as well. They have to be postmarked no later than Dec. 31 to avoid interest, penalties and fees. Payment can be made by personal check, cashier’s check, bank draft or money order. (No cash. That’s only accepted if you’re paying in person.)

Also, on Friday there’s a dropbox on the Oak Street side of the downtown Courthouse. It will be checked from time to time throughout the day and at midnight. (Don’t use cash.)

The county collects personal property taxes on everything from autos to airplanes to livestock. The taxes due this week are on items people owned as of Jan. 1, 2010. The county actually keeps only a fraction of the amount collected in personal property taxes. Typically more than half is forwarded to local school districts, which do not have their own tax-gathering functions. The county also collects taxes for cities, fire districts, the community college district and library districts.

About seven cents of a dollar collected goes to the county’s general fund, though the county also has special levies for health, mental health, parks and roads, which taken together are less that the amount collected for the general fund. Additionally, the county collects a general sales tax plus sales taxes for anti-drug efforts and the recent improvements to Arrowhead and Kauffman stadiums.

If you have lost your tax statement, you can go to www.jacksongov.org/ and get a duplicate for free.

Questions? Call the collectors office at 816-881-3232.