Some Delaware County taxpayers are going to have to write another check in order to pay their property taxes for the second half of the year — after the treasurer’s office accidentally destroyed some checks.
County property owners received a letter this week from the Delaware County Treasurer’s Office informing them that some 2016 second-half real estate payment checks have been accidentally destroyed.
“A couple of batches got confused and mixed in with batches scheduled for destruction,” said Treasurer Jon Peterson.
The treasurer’s office’s dilemma? Not knowing who has paid property taxes and who has not.
The checks were destroyed before the payments could be recorded. “We don’t know which checks were destroyed,” Peterson said.
In an effort to correct the mistake, Peterson said his office sent out a letter Monday, notifying property owners of the error and asking them to verify if their tax checks have cleared their banks.
If the checks have not yet cleared the banks, the treasurer’ office is asking that taxpayers cancel their first checks and issue second checks. “Most folks have been pretty understanding,” Peterson said.
Taxpayers will not be charged a late fee for missing the July 10 deadline, he said.
Peterson said the letters went out with the regular property tax reminders in bright red envelopes.
The letter states the checks were received by mail in the treasurer’s office July 5 and the office believes the destroyed payments were mailed out between June 30 and July 4.
The letter also states that the mistake is the fault of the treasurer’s office and “we are working hard to remedy the problem.”
The statement, in large bold letters, says, “No penalties will be charged for late payment.”
Since the error is the fault of the treasurer’s office, the July 10 deadline to make payment has been extended. “The deadline is now Aug. 5,” Peterson said. “So far the response has been good.”
“The task for this office, like any other office, is how we respond,” Peterson said. “We’ve been very proactive in this case.”
Peterson said he understands the inconvenience the error might have caused and is asking for anyone with questions to call his office at 740-833-2480.
D. Anthony Botkin may be reached at 740-413-0902 or on Twitter @dabotkin.