Tens of thousands of Tarrant County residents recently received an unexpected Christmas gift: Another tax bill.
And thousands more might get the same in the new year.
County officials say these tax bills, due on mineral interests, are being sent later than normal — months after property tax bills — because of a change in Tarrant Appraisal District computer software.
They are asking taxpayers to be patient, saying people won’t be penalized for the county’s tardiness.
“No taxpayer in Tarrant County will suffer … if they are caught up in this conversion at the appraisal district,” Tarrant County Tax Assessor Collector Ron Wright said. “We are going to hold them harmless.”
Even if a bill is sent out close to the Jan. 31 tax deadline, the taxpayer will have 21 days to pay it.
We are asking for patience.
Tarrant County Tax Assessor Collector Ron Wright
“We are asking for patience,” Wright said. “This has been tremendously challenging.”
Cause of delay
The cause of the delay is the new appraisal software program TAD installed. The update converted the early 1980’s mainframe-based system to a more modern Thomson Reuters system known as Aumentum.
It took about three months for the initial installation and conversion of “legacy data” and even longer for adjustments and the transfer of data, officials say.
“As a result, several processes were behind schedule for this year,” said Jeff Law, executive director of TAD. “Moving that many accounts from their system into our new system created some challenges and required adjustments on both ends.”
That has primarily affected local mineral accounts, which total nearly 1 million, more than the number of real property accounts.
The slowdown delayed the issuance of tax bills for some of those accounts.
“With any new database system, setbacks that first year are expected and this conversion was no different,” Law said. “We have processed the accounts and hav e sent them to the tax offices for processing.
We expect next year to be business as usual.
Jeff Law, executive director of the Tarrant Appraisal District
“We expect next year to be business as usual.”
For now, county officials are trying to make sure as many as possible are sent as soon as possible.
Officials are encouraging people to look at their tax bills on the Tarrant County website to see if there are any taxes due on mineral interests.
Wright said his office is getting calls every day about this issue.
“Some people are asking, ‘Where is my statement?’ Or they’ll say, ‘I got my statement for the house in October and haven’t gotten my statement on minerals,’ ” he said. “This is not typical.
“We have assured people that they’re not going to be penalized because the statement comes late. We are going to work with people.”
The next round of tax bills should be easier and delivered in a more timely manner.
“This year is a different year for all of us, and once we make it through this cycle, I am sure next year the taxpayers will see things return to the way they always have been,” Law said.
For more information, call the Tarrant County Tax-Assessor Collector’s office at 817-884-1100 or TAD at 817-284-0024. To search for tax bills online, go to taxoffice.tarrantcounty.com.