CEDAR RAPIDS — A change in Linn County’s property tax statements has prompted a flood of calls from residents who haven’t closely read their bills.
“Our phones are just stacked, calls have been getting dropped, and our phone company’s trying to figure it out,” County Treasurer Sharon Gonzalez said this afternoon.
The statements mailed this week include payment stubs noting taxes for the first half of the county’s fiscal year are “due September 1, 2012.”
But beneath that in slightly smaller type is a note property owners may “pay on or before September 30, 2012″ to avoid a penalty, which is the usual deadline.
“If they’d look a little further, they’d see when it’s due,” said Gonzalez.
The new forms are part of a new online property tax system being adopted by Linn and Polk counties.
Gonzalez said the new system, more than a year behind schedule, should be operational by the next round of property-tax billings in March. The new system will allow online access to properties’ full tax status and histories.
Gonzalez said her office’s three phone lines at 892-5550 have been tied up the past few days by residents worried they’ll be penalized. Incoming calls may ring as long as the caller stays on the line. Gonzalez said callers may want to hang up and try again instead of staying on the line.
Property owners may use the state’s online tax and tags site to pay their taxes. The system assesses a $1.50 to maintain the web site, and credit card companies may assess a “convenience fee” based on the payment amount – it’s $23.54 for a $1,000 payment.