The Herald Bulletin

Morning Update

Opinion

April 28, 2014

Letter: Software change brought improvement

I wish to comments on the statements critical to the change in tax software used by the Madison County treasurer/auditor and assessor.

The critical comments are contained in the article concerning the positions taken by candidates by both parties participating in the May primary for candidate for Madison County treasurer.

My own experience showed that the former software was a disaster and a total frustration to the employees in those county offices.

Among several examples of which I have personal knowledge I will mention two:

The first concerns a client who owns a tract of land containing 8 acres. The County records carry it as 5 acres. My client was concerned that his taxes weren't being computed on the right acreage. Two years in a row, I stopped in the auditor's office, worked with a very accommodating county employee to change the acreage. I saw the acreage corrected on the county computer records. The tax statements for those years came out still using the original five acres. The third year with the new software, the mistake was corrected.

The other example concerns a farm where the present owner's grandfather held a life estate in a certain 80 acres. The grandfather died, I filed the proper paperwork, the life estate was taken off of the tax statements that came out for the next four years. The fifth year suddenly the life estate was back on the tax statement.

If the software change had not been made, I'm sure that we would still be receiving inaccurate late property tax statements.

Doug Owens

Pendleton attorney

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