Rogers County saw an increase in tax collections during the 2017 season.
Rogers County Treasurer Jason Carini said the office collected $65.6 million in property taxes through Jan. 3 this year.
"Over the past six years the average collection rate was 66.3%," Carini said. "This year, the collection rate is 74.4%. Last year's rate was 72.8%."
Carini said he thinks there are several reasons for the increase in collections.
"First, we're constantly making improvements in the Treasurer's Office. We installed a drop box in the courthouse parking lot for after-hours payments. We've continued to expand our mobile payment locations. However, the biggest reason is getting the county budget completed early, which allowed us to mail out statements in October giving citizens over two months opportunity to pay their taxes," he said.
Carini said he estimates over 500 people used the drop box in December.
During his presentation to the commissioners, Carini said thank you to the other entities involved in the process.
"A big thanks goes to all the taxing entities across the counties - schools, first districts, fair board, etc. Thanks also goes to all the departments within the courthouse working together on the county budget. Commissioner Ron Burrows had a bold and aggressive vision on making the county budget process more open and transparent. Lastly, I have the best staff in the courthouse. They put in long hours opening mail, answering phones, and helping customers at the counter," he said. "I am looking forward to what 2018 will bring. First, let's continue with the early budget process. Second, let's have a dedicated rainy day fund for the county. Third, seriously consider a certain level of self-insurance for workers comp (saving the county money). And lastly, have budget transparency by putting the county budget online in an easy format for the citizens to understand, which I've been discussing since March of last year.