No tax bill delivered? Officials say you probably still owe

February 12, 2013

The Washington County Tax Revenue Department mails about 100,000 property tax bills at the beginning of each year, and about 2,000 have come back to county Treasurer Francis King as undeliverable.

The mailings bear the county treasurer’s return address at the Courthouse Square office building, and King is just one of the officials people call if they were expecting a bill but haven’t received one before the March 31 deadline to pay their taxes at a discounted rate.

Debbie Bardella, Washington County recorder of deeds and director of the Tax Revenue Department, said the amount of undeliverable mail is “not unusual,” and she attributed it to address changes or the fact that property owners who have satisfied mortgages should notify the county to stop sending their tax bills to an escrow account set up through their lender.

Refinancing but failing to tell the county about one’s new mortgage holder can also result in an undeliverable tax bill.

“If you didn’t get a tax bill, it’s your obligation to contact the county treasurer,” Bardella said. “Obviously, if there is a change of address, they should contact Tax Revenue so we can change the county database.”

The Tax Revenue Department includes both the tax assessment and tax claim bureaus.

Washington County has about 118,000 parcels of land, but not every one of them is taxable.

Because people sometimes own several parcels, the county can include as many as four bills in a single envelope.

“My concern is that if somebody didn’t get a tax bill that they will be found delinquent in September or October,” King said.

Those who have questions about tax assessments and tax claims can submit them through the county website, The general number for county-related inquiries is 724-228-6700; the treasurer’s office is 724-228-6780; and the tax assessment office, 724-228-6767. County offices are open from 9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.

Barbara S. Miller covers politics, Washington County government and a variety of other topics for the Observer-Reporter. She is a graduate of Washington & Jefferson College, majoring in English and history. Follow her on Twitter @reporterbarb.

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