Most Bartholomew County residents should find the amount of their spring installment of property taxes comparable to what they paid last year, county officials say.
While the property tax season, which ends with a May 12 payment deadline for the spring installment, has been smooth so far, workers at the Bartholomew County Governmental Office building have been answering a lot of questions over the phone.
“People really need to look at their tax bill — especially the TS-1 tax statement, in regard to what they paid last year compared to this year,” auditor Barb Hackman said. “They need to make sure they have their deductions, especially if they appear to be off.”
Property owners finding substantially higher taxes this year are likely due to unique circumstances, such as the death of a property owner, that result in the loss of a homestead exemption and other deductions, Treasurer Pia O’Connor said.
There have been no widespread reports of billing errors reported this season, O’Connor said.
“Some of the bugs and kinks we had last year have been worked through,” she said, referring to new billing software installed in 2013.
Last spring, one of those kinks required that 600 tax bills be resent to Hope-area residents because their bills did not include a required assessment for stormwater ditch maintenance.
Officials have suggested that residents wishing to avoid long lines start making plans for payments.
“Lines start to form during the last week of property tax season,” O’Connor said. “I wouldn’t recommend waiting until the 12th or the Friday before.”
Hackman agreed, explaining the spring tax season is busier than the fall because many people pay both installments in the spring.
People who miss the May 12 deadline are required to pay a 5 percent penalty for being up to 30 days late and a 10 percent penalty if taxes are paid after June 12.
Where to call with questions
The spring installment of property taxes are due May 12. Three different county offices are involved in the collection, and taxpayers with questions can save themselves time by calling the appropriate office.
Property assessments: 379-1505
Tax deductions: 379-1510
Payment of taxes: 379-1530
Paying your property taxes
Treasurer’s office: Cash and check payments can be made at the county treasurer’s office, 440 Third St.
Drop box: A 24-hour drop box can also be found on the front side of the Government Office Building, at the public entrance to the Commissioners Chambers, across from the Crump Theatre.
Online: Credit or debit cards can be used for online payments by going to bartholomew.in.gov. A processing fee will be charged.
Paying at local banking institutions: Residents can pay at local banks such as Centra Credit Union, First Financial Bank, German American Bank, Jackson County Bank, MainSource Bank and Salin Bank. Those who pay at a bank are reminded to present the teller with the appropriate payment coupon.