Property Tax Bills Delayed…Maybe Later This Summer

Property owners in Jackson County won’t be seeing their 2008 tax statements in their mailboxes anytime soon, as changes in protocol and restructuring of township assessors have added to the delayed the billing process.

County Treasurer Kathy Hohenstreiter said she’s hopeful that the statements will be in the mail by July or August.

“We are planning on giving numbers to the Auditor’s office by the end of the month,” she said. “As soon as I know we have a rate, they’ll know something. I’m very hopeful that we will be able to keep both installments in the 2008 pay 2009 tax year, and right now I’m guessing the first installment will be due in July or August, and we hope the second installment due in November, but it’s hard to estimate exact dates.”

Much of the delays are the result of a bottleneck in the Assessor’s office. According to Bev Gaither, county Assessor, the elimination of township assistants has created an excessive amount of work for her four-person staff.

“It’s too much work. Everything got off track when the Governor got involved. We hired two new employees to take on the work of 15 people. Right now, just opening the mail would be a full-time job,” she explained as she counted a total of seven crates of mail stacked around the office. “Our trending numbers have already been approved, and we’re hoping to have the 2008 pay 2009 ready by the end of the month.”

Hohenstreiter said county residents wishing to go ahead and make payments may do so.

“They can come in and make payments to offset their total burden,” she said. “That way it’s not so much at one time. It does help the county since it allows us to give advanced draws to some of the entities dependant on property tax revenue.”

Once the statements arrive, residents should be prepared for the documentation to have a new look. The statements have been redesigned, and will have a three-year comparison rather than a two-year comparison as in previous years. Once all information is approved by the state, due date for property tax installments will be announced, according to Hohenstreiter.