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An online option for paying property and personal taxes in Moniteau County has been added this year.

A year ago, the collector's office upgraded its record-keeping to allow for computerized receipts at the front desk, Collector Ellen Ash said.

This year, the programming has allowed an update to the website facilitating online payments.

As the collector's office will send out statements Nov. 1 for payments due by Dec. 31, the website should open Nov. 1 for those who would like to pay remotely.

Taxpayers still may visit the collector's office or put their payment in the mail.

Another change is the receipt. In the past, a printed receipt from the collector's office was given a stamp to prove it was official.

This year, a printed receipt, which also may be done remotely, is the official proof of payment. The computer software will not print unless the account has been paid, Ash said. The collector's office also will mail out receipts for online payments, as is required by state law.

Taxpayers should note a flat fee for electronic checks and a courtesy fee for credit/debit card payments may apply. No fee applies to check or cash.

The collector's office will issue statements to collect about $7 million in real estate and $2.5 million in personal property taxes this year.

Ash, who is unopposed in the Nov. 6 election, spent the "down time" during the summer tracking down property owners whose bills from last year were returned by mail or who had large delinquent accounts. That included more than 500 accounts.

"We discovered sometimes a friendly phone call to someone is all it takes," Ash said. "People want to do their part."

For many taxpayers, they simply forget to notify the collector's office when changing addresses. Others assume the bank holding their loan will take care of it, which is not the case unless it is set up that way, Ash said. And then, there are those who have passed away.

But, a few delinquent accounts were held by out-of-town owners.

When the property owner is making revenue from rent, "it's not fair to our county" when they're not paying the taxes, she said.

Local entities from schools and fire departments to the library and county government have seen a little extra in their monthly revenue the last few months, as a result of Ash's efforts.

"That's how the county survives, is on the revenue coming in," she said.

Ash estimated about $60,000 were recovered in delinquent taxes from this year's extra research.

"It's my job to do that."

The Moniteau County Collector's office is open 8 a.m.-4:30 p.m. Monday through Friday.

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