Please do not send me your Earned Income/Local tax forms. This also applies to any other mail sent to me by mistake (doctor bills, credit card payments, insurance payments, mortgage payments, etc.) I will return them to you - not forward them to the proper entity. This will delay your filing /payment and could possibly cause your payment to be late or for you to file your forms after the deadline.
You will not receive a receipt if you do not include a self addressed stamped envelope AND both copies of the tax bill. If you only include one part of the bill, do not include a return envelope (with a stamp) and/or include an envelope without a stamp - you will not receive a receipt until I receive the missing part of the required paperwork.
Please do not wrote me a note telling me to send you a receipt - if you follow the rules you will get a receipt - no note is required.
If you don't follow all of the above rules, you will not get a receipt.
Thank you so much to those of you that send me a self-sealing envelope for the return of your receipt (licking thousands of envelopes is not fun!)
If the date on your check is more than 10 days from the date I receive it, I will return it to you and ask that you either re-date it or re-send it at a later date. It is not my responsibility to hold onto and keep track of post-dated checks until they are able to be cashed. You probably will then call to yell at me saying that you sent a check weeks ago and it still has not cleared your bank - not realizing that the date on the check is a month after it was mailed. Often I will see a note on the back of the envelope saying "mail 3/15" or "due 3/31" but I receive it on February 20th because it was mailed too soon by mistake. In the future, I will return your check to you so that you can "mail 3/15".
DO NOT send me a check and ask me to hold it until a certain date. If you do not have the funds in your account, do not send me a check. I assume that if I receive a check, it can be deposited.
Also, please do not date your check and then hold it for several weeks before mailing it to me and then call me to reprimand me and tell me that you "sent" me a check " ___ weeks ago" so why haven't I deposited it yet. Keep in mind that I keep track of not only the date on your check but the date I receive it so that when you call to tell me you or your mortgage company "paid" weeks ago, I can verify not only the date of the check but the date of receipt of the check as well.
Mortgage companies are notorious for holding onto checks for up to 6 weeks before mailing them to me at the very last minute before the deadline. Just because they told you they "paid" the taxes and took the money out of your escrow account does NOT mean that your taxes are paid. The taxes are not paid until I receive the check from the mortgage company.
Just because you (or your Mortgage Company or a Title Company) SEND me a check does NOT mean that your taxes are paid. 1) I must RECEIVE the check. 2) The check must be signed, written correctly and be for the exact amount owed. I will not deposit a check for a partial payment. 3) The check must clear the bank. If a check bounces, your taxes are not paid.
If your check bounces and you do not replace it before the due date (discount or face) - you will owe the additional amount shown on the tax bill.
If your check is not received (or mailed - with a CLEARLY LEGIBLE POSTMARK) on or before the due date, you must pay the additional amount owed. It is not fair to those who DO follow the rules and pay the additional amount owed after the due date for you to feel you are an exception to the rules.
I do not have the authority to waive the penalty if your taxes are paid late. You must write a letter to the appropriate Board (Board of Commissioners and/or School Board) explaining why you feel you should not have to pay the additional amount. Keep in mind that they rarely grant this request.
If your check is written incorrectly, not signed, or written for the incorrect amount, I will try to call you to resolve the situation quickly. However, if you do not have a listed phone number and I cannot contact you and I have to mail the check back to you, this might delay your payment and cause you to have to pay an additional amount.
If you leave a phone message or send me an email, please allow 24 hours for a return phone call or response to an email before leaving another message or sending another email. I am usually working mornings, afternoons and evenings, including weekends. This sometimes means that I am not at my phone or checking email for several hours. This job does have other responsibilities such as attending various meetings, signing checks and reconciling bank deposits for the Township, going to the bank and the post office - Daily. Also, when I am at the Springfield Library collecting taxes I cannot respond to phone calls or emails as I am assisting taxpayers in person during those hours. I also do have some personal things to attend to such as doctor appointments, family responsibilities and functions, volunteer commitments, and sometimes emergency situations that obviously are not planned or scheduled.
If you leave a "detailed" phone message, I will be able to respond in detail to you. If you just say "call me" and don't tell me why you are calling or don't give me your address or parcel number or other pertinent information, I will not be able to respond properly to your request. It is much more efficient if I can have the information you need when I call you back instead of having to look it up while you are on the phone or look it up and call you back - Again. Also, if I get your answering machine we will just "play phone tag" for a day or two. If you don't give me your phone number or if you don't have an answering machine, I cannot return your call. It's not fair to make me have to look up your number or try multiple times to call you back.
It's best to send me an email. You will get a much quicker response as I can respond to an email when I'm collecting taxes at the library (I cannot take or make phone calls during that time), when I'm in a meeting, late at night, on holidays, weekends, etc.
Please do not call to check to see if your mortgage company paid your bill. That is their job. Before calling me, check your mortgage statement to see if they have taken the funds out of your escrowed funds. If they have, assume they sent it to me. However, they will not send it to me until the very last minute so if you call your mortgage company to check to see if they paid (which they do not appreciate any more than I do) please remember that they will take the funds out of your account but not send them to me until the last week of the discount period, at which point I am receiving millions of dollars of payments on thousands of properties and it takes me time to process these payments, along with the many thousands I will receive from individual taxpayers during the last week of the discount period.
Please do NOT send me the tax bill if a mortgage company or bank pays your taxes. Send it to them or keep it for your records. Also, please do not send me a note telling me your mortgage company pays your bill. I probably know that or will find it out when the payment arrives. Notes are just extra paper I have to file.
Please do not tell me that I did not send you a bill. The bills are printed, stuffed, stamped and mailed all on the same day. If you did not receive a bill, look through your magazines and/or "junk mail" (i.e. coupons and other flyers) to make sure that the bill is not "lost" in your other mail. Also check with your post office to see if there is any reason the bill would not have reached you. If mail is returned to me as "undeliverable" I try multiple times to re-deliver it, checking the address with the County and on other websites. If the mail is returned to me after several attempts I keep it in your file for future reference.
Please understand that my main responsibility is collecting current year taxes - not giving out information about taxes from previous years. If you need a receipt for any reason, please allow ample time for me to complete your request. Please allow at least 5-10 business days for me to prepare tax certifications or issue receipts for property tax rebates. If you need information about taxes paid for your income tax return, please check with your mortgage company and/or bank or check your bank statement all before contacting me. As the old saying goes "your emergency is not my emergency". Also, please note that I cannot provide any tax payment information before 2009 as this is when I became the Treasurer and I cannot certify payments that were made to previous tax collectors.
Please do not send me a note telling me that the return envelope is too small. You can fold the tax bill, your return envelope and/or the check. Most people fold the tax bill around the check. This is preferable to trying to make the bill and check fit unfolded and then gluing or taping it shut so that it becomes ripped or torn upon opening. Also, most people who complain that my return envelope is too small send me an envelope that is also too small for return of the receipt - and I do not send you nasty notes - I fold the bill!
Please do not send me a note asking me to deposit checks in a timely manner. I deposit accurately completed and properly dated checks within one to two business days after I receive the check in the mail. I am not responsible for checks delayed in the mail or checks that are dated days or weeks before or after receipt date. Also, your check may not be deposited in a timely manner if you made an error when you wrote the check. Also, if you wait until the last week before the deadline (when I receive the majority of the payments from not only taxpayers but also mortgage companies) it probably will take a few extra days to record and deposit your check. If you want your check deposited in a day or two, send it to me earlier in the month. If you cannot do that - don't complain that I took too much time - so did you!
Please DO feel free to send me notes saying Hello, asking me how I'm doing, telling me you understand what a difficult/under appreciated job I have or thanking me for helping you and/or answering your phone call so promptly.
Please do not tell me to have "my staff", "my typist", "my secretary", etc. do something for you. I do not now and never have had full-time staff. I had part-time paid staff until March 2010. I now only have occasional volunteer help. Please keep in mind that I do this job all by myself.
Please do not use staples or tape on your check or other paperwork you send me. It takes time to unstaple or remove tape from checks and other paperwork and often causes checks to jam or get stuck in the machine at the bank causing problems and delays for the teller and myself.
DO NOT USE MY RETURN ENVELOPE for anything other than making a tax payment to me. Even if you cover up my address with a sticker, the bar code at the bottom of the envelope send the mail to my post office box.
I send taxpayers letters in November if I have not received one or both of your tax payments during the current year. If you do not receive a letter from me by November 30th, you can assume your bill(s) have been paid (unless the address of record is incorrect).