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Property tax bills to be mailed later

Don't bother looking in your mailbox for your property tax bill. It won't be there. The bills traditionally are supposed to arrive by Nov. 1, but an assortment of bureaucratic matters and an ongoing tax controversy have delayed the mailing of the bills. Tax collector Leona Bechtelheimer isn't sure when they will go out.

"It won't be tomorrow," she said Wednesday. "I can't tell you what date it will be."

She said property owners shouldn't worry. They still will have a full 30 days to pay their bills with the 4 percent discount once the bills are mailed.

Normally, property owners receive a 4 percent discount on their tax bills if they pay them during November, a 3 percent discount if they pay during December, and so on, with the discount declining one point each month until April 1, when the bills become delinquent.

The 4 percent discount will apply for the first 30 days regardless of when the bills are mailed, Bechtelheimer said, and the rest of December will carry the normal 3 percent discount. By law, Bechtelheimer has until Nov. 28 to mail the bills.

Bechtelheimer said the bills will be late because she was waiting for paper work from Property Appraiser Les Samples. Samples said his work was delayed because he was waiting for the County Commission to act.

And the County Commission was slow in doing its job because County Attorney Bruce Snow was unsuccessfully trying to settle a controversy with state officials who say the county is charging more taxes than permitted.

The state Department of Revenue says the taxes charged by the Spring Hill Fire and Rescue District and the Township 22 Fire District push the county over its tax cap of $10 for every $1,000 of assessed property value.

County officials say the two fire taxes should be counted separately. The controversy is not likely to be settled before the tax bills go out later this month, officials said. It ultimately could wind up in court.

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