Mason County News
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Mason County Appraisal District's 2008 Tax Statements
Wednesday, October 1, 2008 • Posted October 1, 2008

Chief Appraiser

If you are rushing to the mail box every day only to discover your 2008 tax statement has not arrived, please take necessary action to suppress the disappointment. Your 2008 "membership fees to paradise" will be late in coming this year. However, continuing in this ages old tradition of separating you from your money, taxes will be eventually be levied and statements mailed. Please be patient.

There are a number of issues driving the completion of tax statements for 2008. The first and least difficult to deal with is the October 4, 2008 rollback election being held on the Mason ISD tax rate. Under normal conditions this would only hold up things for a few day before tax statements could be mailed.

The larger issue is the legislative requirements (HB 1010) which changed the way overlapping jurisdictions are appraised. Now, each county appraises everything within its borders then shares the data with overlapping jurisdictions. The overlapping entity is then responsible for collecting the taxes. Is sounds so simple. Wrong!

Mason ISD extends its taxing authority into four surrounding counties and Doss CCSD extends into Mason County. This gives us the distinction of being tied with two other counties for having the most overlaps in the state.

Software venders have been working for over a year trying to adapt programs to comply with the legislation. Most have been successful on an individual basis. The problem is merging the information from one system to another. Crunch time is here and unforeseen problems are extensive. Progress is extremely slow and we have been told to make the changes manually if we want statements out within the next month.

Mason ISD has 533 accounts to be changed. That includes values, acreage, ownership, homestead information (ceilings, freezes, disabilities), exemptions, special valuations (ag, wildlife), five year history, legal description, discounts, account numbers, and more. We have been working on this for quite some time but have a long way to go. Considering the opportunity for error, I advise everyone with overlapping jurisdictions to check your statements closely.

It is possible that statements with overlapping jurisdictions may be mailed separately or even split by county. This would afford even greater opportunity for confusion in a process that is already difficult to understand. We just don't know at this time. I can only offer an apology and a plea for patience as the process continues.

Thanks

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