Because of reassessment delays, the spring installment of real estate tax will not be due May 10.
"If taxpayers wish to make a payment before statements are mailed, the treasurer's office will accept the amount paid in spring 2002. Penalties (or reimbursements) will not be assessed until after a due date is set." Jack Withers, Clay County Treasurer, said.
A due date is expected to be sometime this fall. Withers said updates will be made as details become available.
Clay County Auditor Joe Dierdorf said his office, along with the treasurer and reassessment offices, realized some people may have trouble making one lump sum payment. They thought it might help the already difficult situation to accept a first payment based on last year's spring installment that would be adjusted in the fall.
Difficulties began when Indiana State Department of Local Government Finance delayed the process by instituting a market value process for reassessment.
"We're in the final stage of reassessment. It sounds good, but we're not there yet. There are all kinds of excuses for why we're behind," C. R. Boyd, Clay County assessor, said.
The next step for Clay County is to complete the sales ratio study. Then an equalization study will be done which must be approved by the state. That information will come back to the local auditor, who will in turn, send it for state certification.
"There are two major tax reassessment computer software programs available. We had been using Proval, but I felt Plexis would be better. I spoke with Owen County the other day. They're using Proval and having problems. We're experiencing our own set of problems with Plexis. Hopefully, the patch that's expected to come in Thursday will correct those problems to upgrade the program," Boyd said.
The first major problem is in residential reassessment. Some properties didn't rollover into the new program correctly. For example, he explained, homes with a partial basement and partial crawl space rolled over to a full basement. Mobile homes are also a problem. All of the correct information is in the old system and will transfer into the new system after the patch is in place.
None of the commercial information is ready.
To make matters worse, the auditor's office and treasurer's office are on different programs. Boyd said he is hopeful that one day soon all three offices will be on the same program.