Tim Chitwood

Muscogee County property taxes come due in a week: Wait too long, wait in line

By our clocks the sun will set an hour earlier after Daylight Saving Time ends on Nov. 4.
By our clocks the sun will set an hour earlier after Daylight Saving Time ends on Nov. 4.

Plans that either come to naught or half a page of scribbled lines, it’s Monday Mail.

Time

Today’s opening is from the song “Time,” by Pink Floyd, because this is the time of year when time seems to be running out – the bookends of the year are closing in, the daylight dwindling, the holidays nearing, the last of 2018 fading into twilight.

Speaking of twilight, were you wondering when Daylight Saving Time ends (I was), it’s to be 2 a.m. Nov. 4, the Sunday before Election Day.

This is another reason to think about voting early, if you fear you might get so busy on Nov. 6 that you won’t get to your local voting precinct before dark. We don’t know what the turnout might be, with all the ruckus in national politics these days, so you might not want to risk running late and possibly waiting in line.

Tuesday is the last day to register, and early in-person voting starts Oct. 15 at the City Services Center off Macon Road, by the Columbus Public Library. The schedule through Nov. 2 will be 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. Monday through Friday and 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday and Sunday.

Taxes

Oct. 15 also is the deadline to pay at least 40 percent of your Muscogee County property taxes, if you don’t pay it all by then. If you pay 40 percent, the rest is due in December.

Like Columbus’ early voting poll, the tax office is on the ground floor of the City Services Center at 3111 Citizens Way, west of the library and south of the school administration building. The office hours are 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Monday through Friday, but the city government’s closed this Monday for Columbus Day.

Taxes can be paid in cash, checks, money orders, or, with a 2.5 percent processing fee, credit cards. Online payment is at www.columbusga.org/taxcommissioner.

Those who wait until the last day to pay in person can expect to wait in line.

Tricksy

While we’re checking calendars, we should note that every year, no matter what day of the week Oct. 31 falls on, people want the city government to tell them when to trick or treat for Halloween.

This government-prescribed trick or treating started back when the city would move it to another day if Halloween fell on a Sunday, because Columbus can’t have costumed kids out bumming candy when they’re supposed to be at evening church services.

Oct. 31 falls on a Wednesday, this year, so, I don’t know when the bars will have their costume contests, but trick or treating probably will be that Wednesday.

What’s truly frightening this year is the long stretch of TV campaign ads still to go, daily beating us over the heads like a villain in a horror movie.

Already my brain automatically adds tag lines from campaign ads to the end of commercial ads – like the other day I had public radio on and heard the news sponsor was Eiljah Craig, the distillery, and the promo ended with something like, “Elijah Craig promotes responsible drinking.”

“Elijah Craig – Too Extreme for Georgia,” my mind added.

Pleadings

In the email is a perennial question I get from readers who hate our using “pleaded” for the past tense of “plead” in court stories, because to their ear it should be “pled,” just like “led” is the past tense of “lead.”

This time the inquiry comes from “Welton,” who adds a link to an article in the American Bar Association Journal. Welton writes:

Is it “pleaded” or “pled”?

I vote “pled” as did six judges for whom I clerked.

Dear Welton:

You and the judges may vote all you want, but I must stick to Associated Press style, and the AP insists I write “pleaded.”

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