What’s a taxpayer to do?
Envelope mix-up could cause confusion for many property owners
By Jeffrey Pieters
Olmsted County taxpayers who were mailed incorrect instructions on how to pay their property taxes this year are being advised of the correct way to pay.
The situation arises from a computer error that caused about 60,000 tax bills to wrongly reflect whether that bill is paid on the taxpayers’ behalf through an escrow account.
Tax statements, mailed Monday, began arriving in mailboxes Tuesday.
Taxpayers who use escrow — that is, who rely on their mortgage companies to make payment for their taxes in April and October — wrongly were instructed to mail payments using two envelopes enclosed with their bills.
Meanwhile, taxpayers who had made arrangements to pay their tax bills themselves did not receive envelopes. Their tax statements wrongly show that their taxes would be handled via escrow.
The tax assessment included in each statement is not affected by the glitch. About 2,300 tax statements, where escrow assignments were entered manually rather than automatically, were not affected by the error.
Here’s what the county assessor’s office is advising taxpayers to do:
• If you previously have paid taxes through escrow, or have made arrangements to do so this year, you can rely on that method for your taxes to be paid.
• If you intend to make your tax payment yourself, you can send your payment to the county using your own envelope, pay in person at the city-county Government Center, or pay online at www.olmstedcounty.com with a credit card or e-check.
The address to mail payments is Olmsted County PRL, P.O. Box 95, Rochester, MN, 55903-0095.
If you have questions, you may call the Property Records and Licensing office at 328-7670.