According to WTHR Indianapolis – For thousands of Marion County taxpayers, the checks are no longer in the mail. They’re in the auditor’s office.
In July 2008, Marion County sent out more than 200,000 rebate checks to homeowners across the county. Those checks were part of a tax relief package passed by the General Assembly following the uproar over reassessment. They came just before taxes were due.
“It’s a slap in the face,” said one man. But at least he got his check. Many others haven’t. Up to 10,000 rebate checks are filed in boxes at the county auditor’s office.
“The dollar values range from a few hundred dollars to a few cents to a thousand dollars or more,” said Shirley Mizen, Marion County deputy auditor.
Mizen says it’s close to $2 million in money owed to taxpayers.
“Many came back because of invalid addresses or people moved and because we can’t forward the checks to them,” she said.
Tracking them down isn’t easy. Lisa Shane is the one person who works at it full-time.
“We have to go into the system and see when the property was purchased,” Shane said. “We have to look to see if they still own the property and if they’ve moved to another.”
Shane says it can ten to twenty minutes to resolve just one case.
“We have people in the Army overseas and there are forwarding orders,” she said.
Eyewitness News tried tracking down a few of the people who have checks coming to them. In all three cases, they no longer lived at the listed address.
One man was owed $1,000 – but he moved two years ago. Eyewitness News gave up, but the auditor’s office can’t do that.
Checks worth more than $10 are good through the end of 2010, meaning Lisa Shane still has a lot of work ahead. Given how tedious the work is, chances are these boxes will still be packed with unclaimed checks next December.
If you think you have money coming to you, contact the auditor’s office.