The question of when Texas County tax bills will arrive remained unclear this week.

County officials arrived back in offices Tuesday after a Monday holiday and said data needed to generate tax bills had not arrived in the office of county tax collector Tammy Cantrell, who earlier said she generally needs a lead time of 17 to 21 days before mailing about 30,000.

Members of the county commission in mid-September issued a court order for data in county clerk Laura Crowley’s office to be transmitted to the collector. Bills are generally in the hands of taxpayers by around Nov. 1.

On Tuesday afternoon, Crowley said work is underway in her office on the tax bills. She added, “They are due by 10-31 according to statute.”

When tax bills will arrive was not clear this week in Texas County.

Election: Separately, the Houston Rural Fire Department said Monday it is unclear whether an election ordered by a circuit judge on July 19 will be held Nov. 2.

Absentee ballots were to be available Sept. 21 on the issue to create a fire district.

Crowley said the election is still planned. “I am waiting for my ballots but anticipate them before the end of the week,” she said.

Crowley said due to the small number of eligible voters, the election will be held in her office to keep the costs down.

The earlier measure was narrowly defeated in April and Circuit Judge William Hickle ordered a new election at the county’s expense due to earlier problems at the polls with determining who was eligible to vote. A recount didn’t change the election’s result; it was narrowly defeated by a handful of votes. The measure would have eliminated a membership dues structure in favor of tax levy. Members paying dues have declined over a period of time.

According to its minutes, the commission discussed the matter with the fire department during a meeting in late September.

Since that time, Missouri’s secretary of state office has become involved.

Insurance: County employees said early last week they lost their health insurance benefits because of non-payment over a two-month period. The premiums were paid when it was discovered they were delinquent and benefits restored.

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