Clay County Auditor Joseph M. Dierdorf is urging all taxpayers to be sure they have filed for any applicable tax exemptions.
Gov. Joseph E. Kernan has indicated that he and the Indiana Department of Local Government Finance will approach the Indiana Legislature to have the May 10, 2003, filing deadline extended to December 1, 2003. This deadline is for taxes in 2003, payable in 2004.
"Our office accepts exemption filings year round" explained Dierdorf. "Normally, the mailing of tax statements reminds taxpayers of possible exemptions they have not filed for, as the tax statement lists exemptions that have been applied. Since statements will probably not be mailed this calendar year, many tax payers can be caught not having exemptions they qualify for."
Exemptions included in the possible extension package are as follow: Mortgage, homestead, over 65, blind, disability and veteran's disability. To receive the exemptions taxpayers should visit the County Auditor's office on the first floor of the Courthouse and see if they qualify, and if they do, then file for the exemption.
The office is open from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m., Monday through Friday excluding holidays.
"Only the Legislature can extend the deadline, not the Auditor" explained Dierdorf. "There seem to be indications that the Legislature may extend the deadline for 2003 due to the situation with reassessment, and quite possibly later than Dec. first. I do know that you cannot receive the exemption if you have not filed for it."
Citizens should also be aware that they must file a new mortgage exemption if they have refinanced and have not done so. With all of the recent activity due to low mortgage rates it is possible that many taxpayers will loose their exemption since they failed to refile.