On Thursday, the Clay County Treasurer's Office mailed out statements, including to those whose property taxes are paid by a mortgage company.
"Many people have their property taxes escrowed as part of their mortgage," Clay County Treasurer Debbie James said. "However, we still send statements to every property owner as a courtesy so they can review the information and have a copy for their personal records."
Clay County Auditor Mary Jo Alumbaugh told The Brazil Times a slight change on the state level has residents already calling with questions.
"The state has done away with the Homestead Credit, which is completely separate from the Homestead Standard Deduction," Alumbaugh said. "The Homestead Standard Deduction is the big break on property taxes and there have been some people confusing it with the credit, which was much smaller."
Taxpayers will also have a second chance this year to fill out the Homestead Verification Form, which allows the Homestead Standard Deduction to be retained.
"The form is on a pink sheet and we are hoping to catch more property owners who did not fill it out last year," James said. "Residents have until the end of December 2012 to fill it out and return it to the Auditor's Office."
However, the county will make one last attempt after the deadline to contact those who have not responded.
"After the deadline, our office will send out certified letters to those who have not sent in the form as a final attempt to verify the Homestead Standard Deduction information," Alumbaugh said.
As in previous years, residents may not only pay their property tax installments at the Treasurer's Office, as well as Clay County branches of First Financial Bank, Terre Haute Savings Bank and Riddell National Bank.
In addition, taxes may be paid over the phone by calling 1-800-809-5849, online at www.claytax.net or with a credit card at the Treasurer's Office, which is a new feature.
"Those options, however, do have a fee," James said. "By paying property taxes online or over the phone, the fee is 2.95 percent of whatever is being paid, while paying with a credit card carries a 2.75 percent fee. In addition, our system is set up to accept all major credit cards, including American Express."
To accommodate taxpayers, the Treasurer's Office has set the following extended hours leading up to the May 10 deadline to make on-time payments:
* May 6, 9 and 10 -- 8 a.m.-6 p.m., and
* Saturday, May 7 -- 8 a.m.-noon.
For more information or questions about property tax payments, contact the Treasurer's Office (which has normal operating hours of 8 a.m.-4 p.m., Monday-Friday) at 448-9009.