Pierce County property tax statements that were mailed last week are missing one small element - the county's return address on the payment stubs.
The envelopes, however, are imprinted with a bar code that machines use to direct the envelopes to the correct address. But since technology is ... well, technology ... Assessor-Treasurer Mike Lonergan recommends that property tax payers take the extra step of writing the following address above the small window on the envelope: PO Box 11621, Tacoma, WA 98411-6621.
The correct mailing address can also be found on the back of the payment stub under "Payment Options By Mail."
"We apologize for any confusion this may have caused," Lonergan said. "This was a printing error by a vendor, and we are checking our processes to make sure this does not happen again."
Taxpayers who have questions can call the Assessor-Treasurer's customer service line at (253) 798-6111.
The annual tax statements were mailed on Feb. 15 to 184,000 residents and business owners. The remainder of tax bills go to mortgage holders, so those property owners can look online to see the taxes due for 2013. The information is available at www.piercecountywa.org/atr; click on “Parcel and Sales Search” in the menu.
There are a total of 330,000 taxable parcels in Pierce County.
Most residents will see their property taxes level with last year or slightly reduced, based on tax rates and special levies imposed by about 100 taxing districts in Pierce County. Increases will be more common in the Franklin Pierce School District due to a new Capital Projects Levy passed by the voters, and in DuPont, Edgewood and Key Peninsula, which experienced changes in school and fire district levies. New this year is a countywide flood control tax of 10 cents per thousand dollars of property value.
“Even though Pierce County collects the taxes, it is the public school districts that receive most of the revenue, through the state school tax, plus local levies and bond issues approved by a vote of the people," Lonergan said. "Cities, towns, roads, parks, libraries and the Port also receive smaller portions."
The first-half payment of property taxes is due by April 30, with the second half to be paid by Oct. 31.