DESOTO COUNTY, MS (abc24.com) - Some DeSoto County residents are out of luck this year for missing a deadline.
The state offers a tax exemption for every homeowner. New home buyers have to file within the first three months of the year, by April 1st, to qualify. That day came early this year, causing residents to miss out on the tax break.
"It's a $300 mistake. I understand I waited too long, I forgot about it," says Christie Barclay.
Barclay is a DeSoto County homeowner and ABC 24 News producer. She was counting on saving hundreds on her property taxes each year through the state homestead exemption.
"It's just a credit on your bottom line taxes," says Tax Assessor Parker Pickle. "January 1st through April 1st is the filing deadline."
This year, April 1st fell on a weekend. That means all new homeowners had to file by last Friday, March 30th.
"There is no authority for filing after that date, even if April 1st falls on a Sunday," says Pickle.
But for buyers like Barclay that's confusing.
"Even their own website said April 1st. It didn't say anything about if it falls on the weekend, then it's the Friday before," says Barclay.
She doesn't believe enough notice was given, and would have liked to have seen something on the county's website.
"I think that the county offices need to become a little bit more with the times. They need to communicate better and do a better job reaching people."
"We want everyone to have the homestead exemption, but we don't know who's out there and who bought a home," says Pickle. "I wish everyone to get it, but hopefully they'll come in next year and file in January, February or March."
Barclay now has to wait until 2013 to file. It's an expensive lesson, and one she hopes others will learn too.