Many Beaufort County residents are rushing to pay their overdue property taxes before a two-week amnesty on late fees runs out Friday.
"We're approaching, I think, about 2,000 customers who've come in and paid delinquent taxes as a result of the amnesty," said Treasurer Doug Henderson at about 4:30 p.m. Wednesday. "They're lined up in the lobby and down the hall of the building right now."
Henderson announced the one-time program earlier this month and said he hoped to bring in years-old revenue and clean up the county's books. Moreover, he said waiving the fees wouldn't hurt the county's bottom line, because they aren't counted as general revenue.
The amnesty has created one unexpected problem. With so many customers queued up around the corner, some phone calls are not getting answered.
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"We're working frantically -- we have been every day this week," Henderson said. "It's a madhouse."
Property taxes are due Jan. 15 each year. The county charges a $75 late fee for those that go unpaid as of April 1 and tacks on another $50 on Sept. 1. Penalties go into a fund used to cover the costs of pursuing delinquent taxes.
Follow reporter Kyle Peterson at twitter.com/EyeOnBeaufortCo.