Montgomery tax deadline pushed back (Y2k compliant software caused delays in processing tax bills...) : LUSENET : TimeBomb 2000 (Y2000) : One Thread

Link Wednesday, November 24, 1999 Technology to blame,treasurer said Montgomery tax deadline pushed back

It became clear that the county would not be able to meet the state requirement that tax bills be distributed at least 14 days before the Dec. 5 due date.


CHRISTIANSBURG -- Often the complaint about property tax bills is that they come due just before Christmas.

That isn't the case this year in Montgomery County.

Computer glitches associated with installation of the county's new Y2K-compliant software have caused delays in processing tax bills, forcing the county to postpone the tax due date until after the holiday season.

County real estate and personal property taxes will be due Jan. 17. Interest on unpaid bills will start accruing Jan. 18, and penalties will be assessed as of Feb. 1.

The county supervisors had initially established a grace period for late payment because of the delay. But as the days passed, it became clear that the county would not be able to meet the state requirement that tax bills be distributed at least 14 days before the Dec. 5 due date.

Treasurer Ellis Meredith, whose office mails and receives tax bills, emphasized that the technology is to blame for the delay.

Meredith said he could not estimate when taxpayers will receive their bills, but said he hopes they will be mailed within 14

working days.

"We're working as hard as we can work to get them out," Meredith said. "I'm working my people overtime."

The holdup in getting the tax bills out had to do with the printing of the personal property tax bills on the new computer system. The real estate tax bills were printed earlier in the year. The county mails the real estate and personal property tax bills together to save on postage, as do neighboring Pulaski, Floyd and Giles counties.

County Administrator Jeff Johnson said the delay will not affect the county's financial position, and that mortgage companies that handle real estate taxes will still pay by the Dec. 5 deadline.

"The county is not living paycheck to paycheck, so to speak," said Robert Parker, county public information director. "There will be no delay in appropriations and no effect on operations."

The county will, however, lose the opportunity to earn interest on tax revenue not paid by that previous due date. But Parker said that amount "will be so very small as to be insignificant."

The two other Virginia localities that bought the same software also have experienced slight delays in getting tax bills out.

Treasurers in Martinsville and Henry County complain that the MUNIS software wasn't ready in time for them to work out the bugs. The company developed the software for Virginia localities this year for the first time, and Montgomery, Henry and Martinsville were the only ones to sign on with that vendor as part of their Y2K computer upgrade.

Martinsville had to postpone the due date for personal property taxes by two weeks. Henry County's tax due date remains the same, though the bills were sent out in November instead of October.

In Montgomery County, the treasurer's office must sort the 48,000 personal property tax bills and 36,000 real estate tax bills, so that bills that go to the same person can go in the same envelope, Parker said.

Meredith said this year's experience might cause the county to reconsider whether the office needs to use a more expensive mailer that does not require envelope stuffing. Meredith said he has talked to supervisors a few times about the possibility.

Board of Supervisors Chairman Joe Gorman said Meredith has never officially asked the supervisors to make that change. Send This Story To A Friend

-- Homer Beanfang (, November 24, 1999


So the best prepared county in the Country just missed a Property Tax deadline...


What about the rest of the Country?? What about those counties that were featured on CNN a couple of years ago as not having enough money to euthanize stray and unwanted animals...the dog catcher would use his own .22 pistol on them and he had to pay for the bullets himself?? What happens when THEY can't bill for Taxes??

There is going to be a lot of things going Belly Up, I'm afraid.

-- K. Stevens (kstevens@ It's ALL going away in, November 24, 1999.

K. Stevens,

That's Montgomery county Maryland not Virginia, from the article, that's the supposedly, best prepared county. None are really prepared if the employees are not.

-- PJC (, November 24, 1999.

K. Stevens,

Just to keep the record straight, this is Montgomery County, VA, not Maryland.

-- Tommy Rogers (Been there@Just a, November 24, 1999.

Yeah, I too nearly fell off my chair when I first saw "Montgomery County"!...

Regardless, another fine example of a place up the creek because of a new Y2K compliant system ramrodded into place before the January deadline. Then, come January, all the Y2K "fixes" ramrodded into the old remediated systems will dam the creek for good.

Now, what was all that stuff that that Infomagic dude was talking about regarding massive failures that would spike around Jan 1, 2000 and completely overwhelm everything?...

-- King of Spain (madrid@aol.cum), November 24, 1999.

Just a minor bump-in-the-road-of-life, folks....


Fortunately, this was simply an administrative deadline, nothig serious - nothing serious ....... told you county taxes were going to be screwed up - and this was from a county that TRIED to remediate...Now, legally, if the county didn't meet the deadline to get the bill out, can somebody claim the tax bill (when received) isn't legal to pay?

... and I thought too we were told there were no fiscal year symptoms either....

-- Robert A. Cook, PE (Marietta, GA) (, November 24, 1999.

Ah stand corrected!! Thanks, folks.

My original concern still stands...there are many counties living "from paycheck to paycheck." Some really have no money for remediation, etc. For them, Y2K is just gonna happen!

-- K. Stevens (kstevens@ It's ALL going away in, November 24, 1999.

Moderation questions? read the FAQ