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Keeping people aware of their property tax billsGreetings:
It has come to my attention that there are efforts to mandate that the banking industry mail property tax statements to homeowners who have their taxes paid by escrow. I like the idea behind this proposal; to make sure people know exactly what they are paying in property taxes. I think this would open a lot of people's eyes as to how much local government costs them.
While I like the goal of the legislation, I am less than thrilled with the way some seek to go about it. I am not supportive of yet another government mandate on business, especially one that would be as expensive as this one. I think it would be better to mandate that county treasurer's offices (which already handle mailing of these statements) mail a property tax statement to both the holder of the mortgage and the property owner. If this is a worthwhile thing to do, it is county government's responsibility, not the banking industry.
It is true that property tax records for any property in the county are public record and available to any citizen. My county has done a good job of putting such information online at http://in53.plexisgroup.com. However, few people will take the time to look up such information in county government offices or (if available) on the Internet. I think keeping people aware of what they are paying year to year is enough of a public interest to pass a bill making sure all property owners get their property tax statements.Scott Tibbs