The difference between 99.17 percent and 99.48 percent might not seem like a lot, but, when it comes to the collection of property taxes in a county the size of Guilford, it matters a great deal.

According to Guilford County Tax Director Ben Chavis, Guilford County has collected 99.48 percent of the property taxes due. He’d like to collect 100 percent of the property taxes owed by the time the fiscal tax year closes out on June 30, 2020, but he knows that’s not a realistic goal. Still, he said, he’s very happy with how it’s going this year.

“We’re in a good place right now,” he said.

In recent years, the Guilford County Tax Department has had one of the highest tax collection rates in the state, so it’s increasingly difficult to top itself each year.

The county’s tax bills go out in July and must be paid by early January to avoid a late payment penalty.

Chavis said that taxes are due each year by September 1, but some people assume, because there’s no penalty, that they’re “due” in January.

“That’s a misconception,” he said, reiterating that they are in fact due by September.

In other good news, when it comes to delinquencies, the average time delinquent for unpaid tax bills has fallen from eight years to three years.

Chavis also said the county had added a good deal of new property to the tax roles thanks to its pictometry initiative. That eyes-in-the-sky program involves planes photographing every square foot of the county and computer programs comparing new photos with those from years past. The Tax Department can then tell who has added new square footage, new structures or improvements such as swimming pools. Residents are supposed to notify the Tax Department of those changes, but sometimes they forget.