OSWEGO, NY – The 2010 Oswego County tax bills have a whole new look.
Recently, Oswego County Legislature Chairman Barry Leemann put out a call for a Ã¢â‚¬Å“citizen-friendlyÃ¢â‚¬Â tax bill, charging the LegislatureÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s Consumer and Community Affairs Committee and several county departments with the task of developing a new format.
Ã¢â‚¬Å“When I gave my state of the county address in February, one of my goals was to provide a better tax bill to our residents,Ã¢â‚¬Â said Leemann. Ã¢â‚¬Å“The document should be a consistent design with clear wording, so that people will know exactly what they are paying for and to whom they are paying it. This information is now plain in the new bill. The layout also makes it easier to read and helps the document stand out in the residentÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s mail.Ã¢â‚¬Â
The new design was created by a steering committee comprised of Richard Hogan, director of Oswego CountyÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s Central Services Office; David Hastings, director of Real Property Tax Services; John Kruk, Oswego County Treasurer; and Christine Wolford, Oswego County Deputy Treasurer.
Features include lines for county, town, and other local taxes, an explanation of the generic tax rate, and examples of state-mandated services and how they affect local taxes.
Ã¢â‚¬Å“The most important thing is that it is easier for our residents to understand the breakdown of their bill,Ã¢â‚¬Â added Leemann. Ã¢â‚¬Å“The steering committee deserves a lot of credit for the success of the project.Ã¢â‚¬Â
The LegislatureÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s Community and Consumer Affairs Committee oversaw the project and gave its approval to the final design.
Chaired by Legislator Kevin Gardner, District 13, the committee included vice chairman Jack Beckwith, District 21, and legislators Clayton Brewer, District 24; Mary Flett, District 17; Robert Hayes, Sr., District 10; Louella LeClair, District 25; and Phillip Vasho, District 22.
Much of the information on the county tax bill is state-mandated, noted County Administrator Phil Church.
Ã¢â‚¬Å“However, we were able to move some of the details from the front to the back, allowing more space and larger type,Ã¢â‚¬Â said Church. Ã¢â‚¬Å“By consolidating some of the information, we have room for an Ã¢â‚¬ËœExplanation Box.Ã¢â‚¬â„¢ This allows us to communicate important information to our residents, including a breakdown of the county tax rate, which decreased this year.Ã¢â‚¬Â
For more information on assessment or exemptions, call the Oswego County Real Property Tax Services Office at 349-8315 or 1-800-596-3200, ext. 8315, or visit http://www.oswegocounty.com/rpts.shtml