St. Charles County tax bills on the way, collector says

2011-12-02T13:34:00Z 2011-12-02T15:16:37Z St. Charles County tax bills on the way, collector saysBy Russell Korando > rkorando@yourjournal.com stltoday.com

For St. Charles County residents wondering when they will receive their 2011 property tax bills, they are on the way, County Collector Michelle McBride said Friday.

McBride said personal property tax bills were mailed in chunks Thursday and Friday and that all of those bills should be mailed by Wednesday.

Real estate tax bills will start going out Monday, and everyone who owes taxes on real estate should receive those bills by Dec. 10, she said.

Personal and real estate property tax payments are due by the end of the year, and McBride announced last month that her office would begin mailing tax bills Nov. 28. But new software used to generate the bills did not work properly, leading to delays in sending them to taxpayers, she said.

"It's the growing pains of a new system, and we're going through the process of fixing them," McBride said Friday.

"Honestly, I think we're doing fairly decent," she said. "Our printer needs five days to produce the bills themselves, then they have to be cut and stuffed. The real estate bills are more complex because of special assessments, and we didn't get the last of those until the week of Nov. 14. We can't issue an incomplete tax bill."

The county will mail a combined 310,000 real estate and personal property tax bills this year.

"We've gotten a little spoiled in St. Charles County because we typically have them all mailed out before the end of November," McBride said.

Every year, county taxpayers can view their tax bills online at collector.sccmo.org, and that site started providing this year's information on personal property tax bills Thursday. McBride said people should be able to view their real estate bills online by Sunday.

People who pay their real estate taxes through their mortgage's escrow account will have their bills paid on time, she said. McBride said banks use a taxing service for people who pay their real estate taxes through escrow payments. She said the county has informed the taxing service of the delays.

The county purchased the software through a $1.5 million contract signed on Feb. 5, 2010. McBride said the vendor was supposed to have the software functioning for the 2010 tax season and paid a penalty when that didn't happen. The county held back 10 percent of the vendor's professional services fees because of the missed deadline. The vendor has been penalized $50,000 by the county for failing to meet some requirements this year.

McBride said the county was holding that $50,000 in its capital projects fund and would use the money for another project.

"I appreciate the citizens who are being understanding," McBride said. "People have been worried that they lost their bills. We have so many citizens who are diligently trying to pay their taxes."

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