Pierce County property tax statements that were mailed earlier this month were missing the county’s return address on the payment stubs.
Not to worry, though, according to officials. The envelopes provided with the statements are imprinted with a bar code that directs envelopes to the correct address where payments are sent, so the chance of property owners’ payments getting lost in the mail are minimal.
But Assessor-Treasurer Mike Lonergan recommends taking the extra step of writing in the mailing address for his office – P.O. Box 11621, Tacoma, WA 98411-6621 – above the small window on the return envelope. The correct mailing address can also be found on the back of the payment stub under “Payment Options By Mail,” he said.
“We apologize for any confusion this may have caused,” Lonergan said. “This was a printing error by a vendor, and we are checking our processes to make sure this doesn’t happen again.”
A company that printed the materials made the mistake, which wasn’t caught in proofreading by county personnel.
The annual tax statements were mailed on Feb. 15 to 184,000 home/landowners and business owners. The remainder of tax bills go to mortgage holders, so property owners in that category can look online to see their taxes due for 2013. The information is at www.piercecountywa.org/atr.
The first-half payment of property taxes is due by April 30, with the second half to be paid by Oct. 31.
There are a total of 330,000 taxable parcels in Pierce County.
Most residents will see their property taxes remain level with last year or slightly reduced, based on tax rates and special levies imposed by about 100 taxing districts in Pierce County, according to the assessor-treasurer office. Increases will be more common in the Franklin Pierce School District due to a new Capital Projects Levy passed by the voters, and in DuPont, Edgewood and Key Peninsula, which experienced changes in school and fire district levies.
New this year is a countywide flood control tax of 10 cents per thousand dollars of property value.
“Even though Pierce County collects the taxes, it is the public school districts that receive most of the revenue through the state school tax, plus local levies and bond issues approved by a vote of the people,” Lonergan said. “Cities, towns, roads, parks, libraries and the Port of Tacoma also receive smaller portions.”
Taxpayers who have questions can call the assessor-treasurer’s customer service line at (253) 798-6111.