I just bought property this year. Why is the prior owner still on the tax bill?

Property tax assessments are billed for fiscal year 2004, with an effective date of January 1, 2003. This means that the owner as of January 1, 2003 should appear on the tax bill. However, as the current owner, you should still pay the tax bill before the due date to avoid interest from being assessed and a tax lien being placed on the property.