This is a statement to inform citizens and commissioners of the status of the 2017 tax statements. Tax statements will be mailed out late due to the county clerk, Donna Maskus, not meeting the state law dictating a deadline of Nov. 1 for her to turn over tax calculation information to the Treasurer’s Office. Until we have that information, our office is unable to move forward in mailing out tax statements each year.

As a new treasurer, one of my goals for the office of the treasury is to provide citizens with their tax statements with at least four to six weeks in advance of the payment deadline. Our office expects that for next year, Clerk Maskus will meet her Nov. 1 deadline so taxpayers can get their tax statements with a fair amount of advance notice.

The Nov. 1 deadline exists to help move the process forward well before election issues occupy the clerk’s attention. This deadline has not been met several years in a row, an issue I was aware of and spoke with Clerk Maskus about in September. At that time, I offered to be of any assistance I could to help her meet that deadline this year during my first year as treasurer.

In order to protect citizens from the effects of the clerk’s delinquency, I have decided to allow taxpayers to pay their taxes with no accrual of interest. Having officially received the necessary information from the clerk late in the day Nov. 16, the Treasurer’s Office has just began the final steps in the tax statement process. The first-half tax deadline remains Dec. 20; however, the Treasurer’s Office will not begin assessing interest and penalties until Jan. 3, 2018.

Lisa Schlegel,

Ellis County treasurer