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Property tax bills on schedule


April 14, 2010
Crawford County property taxes will be due on time this year for the first time since 2006 and just the second time in eight years.

Traditionally due in biannual installments in May and November, the county's property taxes have not had a normal payment schedule in some time. A court-ordered reassessment began the problems, and a ruling by the Department of Local Government Finance that the county's reassessment was inadequate and a new one was needed compounded them.

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Last year, both installments were due in November and the prior year they were due just a month apart.

This year, however, things went much smoother, Crawford County Auditor Peggy Bullington said. Assessor Tammy Procter delivered the ratio study, a comparison of property sales with assessed valued and completed by the company hired to do the reassessment, to the state on Oct. 15, and the DLGF approved it four days later.

"We were ahead this year," Deputy Assessor Sherry Barnes said.

Bullington, as auditor, certified the county's net assessed values to the DLGF on Feb. 4. With no problems, the state certified the budget order on March 1, considerably earlier than in 2009, when the county didn't receive a certified budget until Aug. 24.

The county mailed out tax statements for all approximately 12,000 parcels of land on March 29, and the first installment will be due May 10. The second installment will be due Nov. 11.

Payments may be made at the Treasurer's Office anytime through May 10. The office is open Mondays and Fridays from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. and Tuesdays and Thursdays from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m.

Bullington said homeowners should have received a Homestead standard deduction verification form with their tax statements. Printed on pink paper, the form, which should be completed and returned to the Auditor's Office, is an effort by the DLGF to combat Homestead fraud.

According to the DLGF's Web site, 78 of the state's 92 counties — including Harrison, Dubois, Perry and Washington — will have property tax bills due May 10.

Floyd County, whose second installment for 2008 pay 2009 taxes wasn't due until Jan. 11, 2010, has had its sales ratio approved but still has several steps to go before issuing bills. Orange County has just one step to complete.

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