Whenever you send your kids to public school, check out a library book, or call for help in an emergency, you’re using a publicly funded service that the County Collector’s Office helps make possible.
Nearly 350,000 annual property tax payments pass through the office on their way to the services that make St. Charles County a great place to live.
“Nobody likes to pay taxes, but our goal is to make the experience of paying taxes as easy and pleasant as possible,” says Michelle McBride, Collector of Revenue.
While the busiest months are October through January, Collector staff work throughout the “off season” to get multi-year delinquent taxpayers current on their bills and keep their properties out of the annual “Tax Sale” property auction. From January to August, the delinquent list usually goes from about 2,500 properties to less than 100.
“We start by sending out delinquent notices in January. Then we start and continue to make phone calls until the actual sale. We send out first-class letters in April followed by certified letters in June. The list of Delinquent Lands and Lots is published in the newspaper in July, and by the summer’s end I’m out knocking on doors,” McBride says, adding that some in-person visits can become intense encounters.
“The most interesting visit was to a property by the river where we pulled up in the County vehicle and a man was coming toward us dragging a baseball bat. I told the person with me to stay in the vehicle, and if anything happens to me, just drive away. … Working with the public is definitely interesting.”