Computer error creates tax bill snafu

2013-04-23T18:45:00Z 2013-04-23T22:58:04Z Computer error creates tax bill snafuBill Dolan bill.dolan@nwi.com, (219) 662-5328 nwitimes.com
April 23, 2013 6:45 pm  • 

CROWN POINT | The Lake County treasurer said about 1,000 customers of First Midwest Bank shouldn't pay property tax bills they are receiving.

John Petalas said a communications error between his office and the bank resulted in the county's erroneously mailing bills to the homes of bank customers whose taxes will be paid by the bank from their escrow accounts.

Petalas said the double-billing mistake arose recently when his office asked the bank to provide the names of customers paying their annual tax installments through escrow accounts.

Petalas said the bank customers' information wasn't correctly coded, so the county government's computer system failed to classify the customers as escrow taxpayers and generated bills that were mailed.

Jim Roolf, senior president for the Itasca, Ill.-based First Midwest Bank, said Tuesday he is looking whether the error was made by the bank or the treasurer's office, but he wanted to assure bank customers with mortgage escrow accounts, "Their payments will be made and made on time."

Petalas said any bank customers who already pay through escrow should discard the bills received in the mail.

The first installment of the other, approximately 249,000, bills sent out since last week will need to be paid by May 10.

Payments can made at his offices in the Lake County Government Complex, 2293 N. Main St., Crown Point, or the satellite county courthouses at 401 Broadway in Gary and 232 Russell St. in Hammond.

Payments also can be made at these banks: American Savings FSB, Centier Bank, Chase Bank, Citizens Financial Bank, DeMotte State Bank, First Financial Bank, BMO Harris Bank N.A., Horizon Bank, Lake Federal Bank FSB, MainSource Bank, Peoples Bank and Tech Credit Union.

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