A request on behalf of the Clay County Treasurer's Office turned into a mountain of paperwork and over $1 million in overpaid Property Tax dollars, a figure that is currently being repaid to county residents, Treasurer Jack Withers said.
Last year, 2002 pay 2003 Property Tax rates due from the state were running late, hindering the Treasurer's Office's ability to send official tax numbers. Withers requested in that county taxpayers submit an optional early payment equal to what they paid during the 2001 pay 2002 Property Tax season. Thousands of residents made this payment, and the county did not have to borrow money to operate. When the tax rate arrived, however, Property Taxes dropped around the county, leaving the Treasurer's Office with approximately $1.5 million in extra tax revenue.
Withers said while he appreciated the help residents gave the county, the office would "never" make a similar request in the future.
"It buried us in paperwork," he said. "We're about to complete that part of it."
The Treasurer's Office has mailed approximately 6,000 notices informing taxpayers of two options -- either claiming the money or applying it to 2003 pay 2004 Property Taxes. Withers said a majority of the people are choosing the latter. "What a lot of people don't understand is that even at our best, we're always a year behind," Withers said. "We're beginning to fill the gap, though."
It has been speculated rates for 2003 pay 2004 taxes will be in by the end of this week, though Auditor Joe Dierdorf said the last estimation he heard was some time in August. He did say, however, that he can't remember where he heard that date.
Withers estimated that 90 percent of the people who received notices have contacted the Treasurer's Office. If you have received a notice in the mail or made the optional payment in 2002, contact the Treasurer's Office at 448-9009.