Chesterton Tribune

Property tax bills to be mailed next week; treasurer explains payment options

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For the third consecutive year, Porter County residents will be delivered their spring property tax bills on time, said Porter County Treasurer Mike Bucko on Thursday.

Residents will be able to pay their bills by mail, in person, using the drop box located in the rotunda of the Administration Building or online by using the countyís website and click on Pay Your Tax Bill.

Bucko said the on time tax bills are a product of his office along with on time assessing from County Assessor Jon Snyder and Portage Assessor Millie Arochoís staff, and on-time tax calculations and abstracts from County Auditor Robert Wichlinskiís staff.

By Mail

Taxpayers paying their bill by mail send their payments to: Porter County Treasurer, P.O. Box 2150, Valparaiso, IN 46384-2150. Cancelled checks will act as receipts for taxpayers and the checks will continue getting back to the bank much sooner than in past years, Bucko said.

The treasurerís office asks that payments not be sent by Federal Express, UPS, or Express Mail. The P.O. Box cannot be signed for them.

In Person

For those wishing to pay in-person, the county treasurerís office is open from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Monday through Friday except holidays, at the Porter County Administration Building (155 Indiana Ave., Valparaiso).

The treasurerís office will have a central table in the entrance area and will make sure you have the right bill payment coupon and have put your tax bill Duplicate Number in the memo line. Please put your telephone number on the check.

There will be three separate lines this year to pay tax bills. Line 1 will be for those wanting to pay by check only and not needing any consultation. Line 2 will be for taxpayers to pay in cash and not needing consultation. Line 3 will be for cash and check while needing consultation for special needs.

ďOur first goal is to move the line for those who want to get in and get out but feel they need to pay in person, while providing the customer service needed for those having difficulties,Ē said Bucko.

The treasurerís office will have a drop box in the area just right of the elevator for checks payments only. Checks need to have the taxpayerís name, address and telephone number on them. Those wanting a receipt are asked to enclose a self-addressed stamped envelope with their checks. Cancelled checks can still act as receipts.

Online Payments

Taxpayers wishing to pay online are directed to go to the county website, and click under Pay Your Tax Bill.

The E-check option is free. E-check will pay for your bill by taking the money out or your checking or savings account.

Again this year, payments can be made using Visa, or Master Card credit cards or debit card. Those paying in this manner should know that Chase Bank applies a convenience charge of 2.5 percent for the service.

ďWith gas prices today and the cost of your time, E-check is the least expensive way to pay your taxes,Ē said Bucko.

Bucko also said the tax website might be the treasurerís website but it is also the peopleís tool where taxpayers, realtors, escrow companies, bankers, and title companies can access county tax records from anywhere in the world.

General Info

Taxpayers are asked to look on the back of their bill payment coupon for mailing information and additional details of contact information pertaining to their tax bills.

The first installment of the 2010 property tax bills are due to the state by May 10. There will be a second installment in the fall due on November 13.

Last Year for Homestead Certification Forms

Wichlinski also reminds taxpayers that if there is a Pink Homestead Credit Information Form in your tax bill then it is not on record with the county as being certified. Those wanting to keep homestead credits should send their forms directly to the Porter County Auditorís office or with their tax payment as directed on the back of the form.

This is the last year the Pink Forms will be sent to taxpayers. If homestead credit forms are not received by Jan. 1, 2013, taxpayers could lose their homestead credit on their taxes in the future.

Wichlinski recently said approximately 26 percent of county property owners with the deduction have not yet verified their eligibility with his office.



Posted 3/30/2012