Countywide : Property Tax Bills on Way

About 720,000 homes and businesses across the county will be receiving property tax bills in the next few days.

For the first time in years, taxpayers will not be writing their checks to Treasurer-Tax Collector Robert L. Citron, who resigned in the wake of Orange County's bankruptcy.

Nor will the checks be made out to Citron's successor, John M.W. Moorlach, officials said Monday. Instead, they should be written to "Orange County Tax Collector."

"That decision was made when Mr. Moorlach came into the office, because people did, of course, complain about making checks out to Mr. Citron," said Joanne Guerriero, Moorlach's secretary. "They just didn't feel it was proper," in light of the $1.69-billion loss in the county's investment fund during Citron's administration.

Actually, the tax bills dropped Citron's name a couple of years ago, but checks made out to him kept coming in, Guerriero said.

Property owners also may pay by telephone, she said. A guide to the automated system is included with each bill.

Although the county is mailing out 10,000 more bills than last year, total property tax revenue will be slightly lower because of lower property values and a smaller increase in special assessment districts.

The bills arriving this week are due in two installments: on Nov. 1 and Feb. 1. They become delinquent on Dec. 10 and April 10, respectively.

Any property owner who has not received a bill by Oct. 4 should call (714) 834-3411 between 8 a.m. and 5 p.m. weekdays for a duplicate.

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