CROWN POINT | The Lake County auditor's and treasurer's offices will be open for extended hours and will forgo closing their offices Veterans Day to accommodate last-minute taxpayers.
Treasurer John Petalas reminded property owners Friday the final installment of the 2012 property taxes is due Nov. 13.
He said his office will be open from 8:30 a.m. to 7 p.m. that day.
Petalas and County Auditor Peggy Katona said they will keep their offices open for business from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Veterans Day, Nov. 12, although other county government agencies will be closed in observance of the holiday.
"While we respect the solemnity of the day and honor our veterans for the sacrifices made, it is essential that we have skeleton crews on site to accommodate the hundreds of taxpayers who will be arriving on that day," Petalas said.
Petalas said the extra hours are needed to service the hundreds who typically line up in the final days outside 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.
Petalas and Katona said their staffs will be available to address any problems owners have with their tax bills.
He said those who aren't disputing their taxes can avoid lines be paying 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.
Petalas said American Savings, Chase, First Federal, First Financial, Harris and MainSource are closed Veteran's Day. Centier will be open only until noon on Veteran's Day.
Petalas said his staff cannot accept credit card payments in person, but people can use major credit cards for tax payments by going to www.lakecountyin.org.
A fee is charged by the credit card company, not county government, for the online payment service. He said residents also can use the cheaper e-check system.
Petalas warns residents to be patient if they call his office with questions during those final days. The office's telephones generally are swamped at that time, and callers often are put on hold for an extended period, he said.