More than 183,000 property tax statements mailed Friday are missing the return address on first- and second-half payment stubs.
The address for Pierce County Budget and Finance was supposed to be printed on payment stubs so that it shows through the window on return envelopes.
The vendor that produced the property tax statements, Automatic Funds Transfer Services in Seattle, left off the return address, said Assessor-Treasurer Mike Lonergan.
“It’s a big mistake,” said Lonergan, in his first year in office.
“We don’t know why they dropped it,” Lonergan said today. “It was obviously a mistake on their part.”
At least a half-dozen people in the Assessor-Treasurer’s Office, including Lonergan himself, failed to catch the mistake.
Lonergan said his office found technical errors and made those corrections.
“I looked at it myself,” he said. “We just simply missed it.”
“The most obvious thing we didn’t check,” Lonergan said. “We should check everything.”
Taxpayers shouldn’t panic. There are some easy fixes.
Lonergan recommended that taxpayers write the return address on the payment envelope above the blank window.
The return address is: PO Box 11621, Tacoma, WA 98411-6621.
That address for Pierce County Budget and Finance is printed on the back of the payment stub. The same address was printed correctly on last year’s statements to show up in the address window.
Even if someone mails their payments without a return address in the provided envelopes, the county should receive them, Lonergan said. The Budget and Finance office received several payments by mail this morning without any address, Lonergan said.
That’s because a bar code containing the address is printed on the envelopes below the return address window.
The first-half payment is due April 30; the second half is due Oct. 31.
Lonergan said his office received about 50 calls this morning about the mistake.
He said his office is evaluating whether it will notify taxpayers of the mistake in some other form, such as a postcard.