Cooperation touted as Porter County tax bills go out
By Amy Lavalley Post-Tribune correspondent April 11, 2014 10:48AM
How to pay
Information on payment options is outlined on the back of tax bills; payments can be made by mail, online, in person at the treasurer’s office, or via a drop box in the county administration building, 155 Indiana Ave., Valparaiso
Updated: May 13, 2014 6:04AM
VALPARAISO – Porter County’s assessor, treasurer and auditor said Thursday that property tax bills went out a week earlier than they did last year, and taxpayers should begin seeing them in their mailboxes in the next few days.
Treasurer Mike Bucko said his office processed 68,000 property tax bills.
“Of my five years of having on-time tax bills, this year has been the most seamless,” he said during a news conference, crediting cooperation with the assessor’s and auditor’s office for the effort.
“The only way we get it done is through collaboration between offices,” Assessor Jon Snyder said.
Auditor Bob Wichlinski, noting staff restructuring in his office earlier this year that cut five employees, said he was proud of what was accomplished, especially since some of the employees in his office had not handled property taxes before.
“There was care and concern on our part to make sure everything got done right,” he said.
Having additional time also meant his office could randomly check some tax bills and make sure tax rates from school referendums were done correctly.
“We had sampling from bills from different areas around the county to make sure there were no anomalies,” Wichlinski said, adding that was done with the treasurer’s office. While the random checks have been conducted in the past, the treasurer’s and auditor’s office did not work together on them, he added.
Wichlinski said his office also completed a cost allocation report due to the Indiana Department of Child Services, so the county can receive federal reimbursement for its child support court.
Taxes on 39,000 of the county’s 84,500 property parcels are paid through escrow, Bucko said, adding he recently began working with a new company to serve as an agent with banks, and escrow and mortgage companies.
“It eliminates double payments and payments to the wrong properties,” he said, adding there is no cost to the county and it provides greater efficiency for the auditor’s and treasurer’s offices.
Taxes are due by May 12 and Nov. 10 this year, Bucko said, adding taxpayers will receive a single bill with two coupons, one for each payment.