A recent TimesDaily article reported my complaint about the way information on property tax exemptions is handled. The $285 mentioned in the story represents almost 26 percent of my Social Security income for a month. Having to pay for an extra year was a very big burden.
I believe the reporter should have done more research. State Department of Revenue spokeswoman Carla Snellgrove said her main goal is to let the public know exemptions are available for those who are disabled or over 65.
If that is true, why is this information buried on the website in Colbert County? Details on how to obtain an exemption and retain it after 65 is ambiguous.
I went to the contact area and after trying five times was unsuccessful in sending an inquiry. When I tried to submit my question, I got an error message that said the website is unrecognized and the contact cannot be transmitted.
Since this article was published, several people have told me they did not know about the exemption, and had friends over 65 who were still paying the full tax.
If Snellgrove's main goal is to get this information out to the public, I would say she has failed. If public officials are going to rely on the Internet to communicate, their websites should be maintained, accurate and more forthcoming.
Government officials should take more responsibility for getting this information out to the public rather than expecting them to look for a needle in a haystack.
Patricia G. Holley