Senior Frustrated By County Management Of Tax-Freeze Program

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A big thank you to the Payson Roundup and Roundup staff reporter Jim Keyworth, for the front page article in the Feb. 23 edition titled "Seniors still have time to request property tax freeze." If this article had not appeared in the Roundup a lot of senior citizens would not have been aware of the deadline.

In late November last year, I called the secretary of state's office in Phoenix and asked when the application forms would be made available, and I was referred to our county assessor's office in Globe. (I called Globe twice. The first time, the person who answered my call didn't know anything about the program. The second time), I was told it would be quite a while before application forms would be ready as this was such a new issue the staff would need to be trained on how to handle it.

I called the Payson office two weeks ago and was told they were in the process of making up some kind of form, but that we had lots of time because it wouldn't take effect until September of this year. Thanks to the Roundup, I picked up our application Monday, Feb. 26, and the assessor's parking lot was full. The gentleman in the Payson office was helpful and respectful, but I find it difficult to understand why this issue needed so much time for the staff to be trained. Why was I told two weeks ago I had lots of time? Why the March 1 deadline, which gave us only four days to apply?

(According to Hazel Dillon of the Gila County Assessor's office, residents now have until the end of July to apply.)

We live in the county, we pay our taxes to the county, and I expect to get answers to my questions from the county. It is time we write a few letters, make a few phone calls and insist on answers, otherwise we do not know what is being said behind closed doors.

I am not happy with the excessive raises in our property valuations year after year, and that is why I voted for Proposition 104, and I am delighted it passed. It will at least let us keep a little more in our wallets.

Angry? You bet I am angry at the way we are being treated.

Margaret E. Burton, Payson

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