A previous post — http://wp.me/poVRi-7E — describes, hopefully simply, the 3rd quarter real estate bills, as to what they represent and why they are important.
Running the 3rd Q real estate tax bills occurs usually during Hannukah and just before Christmas. It is dedicated to moving the property assessment values from the Board of Assessors into the Treasurer’s Tax Collection System, followed by calculating and printing, folding, stuffing, and mailing the 3rd quarter real-estate bills.
The reason the process is complicated and the people involved tend to be stressed out during this time, is because absolutely no mistakes can be made. I define a mistake as something you do from which you cannot recover. Small cockpit errors are acceptable.
However, “throwing the switch” (running the program that calculates and creates an electronic printable copy of the bills) is like instantly stopping or starting the flow of water going through the Hoover Dam. Once you have thrown the switch, it is nearly impossible to go backwards in time. Oh, and by the way, even commercial tax collection products — ours was developed in house twenty years ago — do not have one of those nice “Control-Z” undo switches.
Believe it or not, we do not need additional or better computers or software to make the process go any more smoothly. This is a time of checking, re-checking, and synchronizing everything, before we make the bills happen. Occasionally, it is even possible to hear many oaths being sworn during this time period.
So, if all goes well in the next few days, I will have presided over my sixth running of the 3rd Quarter Real Estate Bills. Hopefully, all will go well, give or take a few bumps and bruises.