County Treasurer’S Issues Have Long Reach

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Editor:

It is understandable that few citizens are familiar with the functions of the Gila County treasurer’s office. Arizona Revised Statutes require public entities (cities, towns, county governments, school districts, community colleges, sewer, fire districts, etc.) to maintain their bank accounts (with few exceptions) with the county treasurer. The revenue for these entities — property taxes, sales taxes, state aid, etc. — must be deposited with the county treasurer. Entities then submit expense vouchers to the treasurer, who in turn prints check payments to be distributed to the entities’ vendors.

Property tax bills prepared by the Gila County Treasurer Debora Savage for these entities are historically distributed to property owners in early September with a Nov. 1 final due date. To date, these property tax bills have not been prepared due to problems implementing computer software for a new treasurer accounting system.

This project has been ongoing for almost two years. When will it be completed?

Meanwhile, the lack of revenue for all of these entities from property taxes will and is creating financial hardship. Most of the seven school districts in Gila County rely heavily on property taxes to deliver their services. Most entities have bank credit lines, but if they become exhausted, they will have trouble making payroll and paying their bills.

In addition, they will incur interest expense from the use of their credit lines. Will the Gila County treasurer pay for this expense due to the tardiness in the preparation of property tax bills?

Whenever the property tax bills do hit the street, responsible property owners and mortgage holders should pay the bills upon receipt and not wait until a final due date. This way, public entities affected will be able to maintain their services with minimal disruption and increased cost.

Jim Hippel

Comments

Mel Mevis 1 year, 2 months ago

Thank you for printing this opinion.

I had a personal conversation with Treasurer Debora Savage this morning. She was, to say the least defensive.

I got an explanation that they do not have funds for a programmer to develop code for the tax billing program. Sorry ..... but this probably the most important function of goverment in regards to providing services. If taxes are not collected services are affected. This should have been a priority for the Treasurer and the County Supervisors.

We are suffering from a Federal Government shutdown ..... This is a self-inflicted fiscal fiasco. Elected officials should be held accountable.

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Mel Mevis 1 year, 2 months ago

One of the hidden cost to this will be to mortgage holders.

Your tax bill is prorated by your mortgage through the year. If everything goes right divide your tax bill by twelve and add that to your base mortgage. But, if the bill does not go out until late November and it mid to late December the mortgage bill will go up significantly,

For example if your property tax is $3000 and it is spread over 12 months that adds $250 to your mortgage.

If your spread the cost across only 9 months the same $3000 tax will add $333 to your mortgage.

If your living on a budget get ready.........

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