Question: Why have the property tax bills changed to one name (usually the man's name) then "etal" (we do know that means "and others")? In the past both of a couple names were displayed on the tax bills but now most of the women's names have been taken off the bills and replaced with etal. We were also wondering if this same wording is on the assessor's titles for all the properties in Tuolumne County?

Answer: Blame it on technology. The change occurred in 2016 when Tuolumne County moved property records from a 1970s-era Crest program to Microsoft-based software called Megabyte. Yes, you did read that correctly. Up until 2016 the county was using 40-year-old software to manage the records — tax bills and assessments — for about 48,000 pieces of property.

Assessor Kaenan Whitman said, though, the remedy for the one-name bills is easy. Simply call his office and someone can click on a box in the program and it will list all the names of all the owners.

Last year, the office handled about 20 calls on this and this year so far about 40.

The assessor can be reached at 209-533-5535.

Send your questions to editor@uniondemocrat.com

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