The 2010 tax bills will be mailed at the end of this week.  May 10 is the due date for the first installment; the second installment is due November 10.  Each bill has two pages.  Page one is a remittance coupon; page two is a tax description summary.  The remittance coupon has an “A” portion to accommodate the payment of the spring installment and a “B” portion to accommodate the payment of the fall installment.  Both installments can be paid in the spring with one check if you desire to do so.

New this year, if you have a homestead credit on file in the auditor’s office, you will receive a third, rose-colored page in your billing known as a homestead verification form.  You are required by law to fill this form out and return it to the Howard County Auditor’s Office.  Questions regarding this form should be directed to 456-2215.

Special notices are also being sent to property owners paying taxes through an escrow account.  These notices bear the message “DO NOT PAY – INFORMATION ONLY” on the front of the notice.  The state legislators have mandated this information be sent in an effort to enlighten all taxpayers regarding their property tax and assessed value information.

Homeowners with the homestead deduction, without new improvements, will be pleased to see only a slight increase in their tax payment this year.  For many residential property owners (rentals and non-homesteads, etc.) taxes will be down due to the fact that their billed amount has hit the 2-percent cap while their assessed value has shown a decrease.  There could be a slight increase in personal property business taxes, and a slight decrease in business real estate taxes.

Taxes may be paid in person or sent to the Howard County Treasurer’s Office in the Howard County Administration Center, 220 N. Main St., Room 226, Kokomo 46901.  They may also be paid at any of the following banks.  Banks will not accept homestead verification forms.  These forms are accepted in the auditor’s office only.

Harris Bank: No Charge

National City (PNC): No charge to customers; 50¢ for non-bank customers

Community First Bank: No Charge; non-bank customers may pay by check only

First Farmers Bank: No charge to customers; $3 for non-bank customers

Star Bank: No Charge

Key Bank: No Charge

There is a convenient drop box located in the lobby of the Howard County Administration Center, 224 N. Main St., that is open 24 hours per day.  You may also pay online by credit card via the county‘s Web site, www.co.howard.in.us, or pay by credit card in the office.  Both options are accompanied by a convenience fee.

For questions regarding drainage assessments or the water quality fee, please call the surveyor’s office at 456-2217.  Questions regarding assessed values and appeals should be directed to the assessor’s office (county) 456-2211 or (city) 456-2226.  If you have questions regarding tax deductions and homestead forms, please contact the Howard County Auditor’s Office at 456-2215.  For all other tax issues, please contact the treasurer’s office at 456-2213.  County offices are open from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m., Monday through Friday.

Please remember that any unpaid taxes, liens and special assessments due May 10 or prior will receive new or additional penalties if not paid on time.

The treasurer’s office staff and I are looking forward to serving you this tax season.  Please don’t hesitate to call or come in with questions or concerns.

By: Martha Lake Howard County Treasurer

Original Article at KokomoPerspective.com