STATEMENT FROM RUSSELL V. WATTS, TREASURER-TAX COLLECTOR, REGARDING COVID-19 AND THE APRIL 10 PROPERTY TAX DEADLINE
UPDATED MARCH 24, 2020
We understand that this is a very stressful time, especially for those suffering direct effects from the coronavirus pandemic, and our office is committed to helping in any way we can. As you may have heard, we have no legal authority to extend the April 10 deadline as the office is governed by State law. Besides, we feel it is not necessary to extend the delinquent date because current law already provides us authority to cancel late-payment penalties resulting from circumstances such as the one taxpayers may find themselves in today that prevent paying on time.
Our office may cancel late-payment penalties for taxpayers adversely impacted by COVID-19 pandemic under Revenue and Taxation Code section 4985.2. Beginning April 11, we will make available on line a penalty cancellation request form specifically related to the coronavirus. The penalty cancellation process will require documentation about how the taxpayer was impacted by the virus from reduced hours, layoffs, business closure, hospitalization or other circumstances that prevented timely payment.
In the meantime, please keep in mind the second installment of Secured property taxes is annually due on February 1st with a grace period ending on April 10th. This deadline should not be confused with the Federal and State income tax filing deadlines. And with these deadlines extended, hopefully, taxpayers will experience enough financial relief to be able to pay their property taxes on time. Thus, we encourage all property owners who can pay their taxes on time to do so.
Unlike the Federal or State governments which receive income tax revenue from monthly payroll deductions, the County collects the property taxes only twice a year. This revenue is essential for keeping the County, our cities and schools, and other local government agencies running and providing vital services that the public relies on, especially in extraordinary times like these. As the County government continues to help lead the local response to the COVID-19 pandemic, greater demand will be placed on financial resources to cover associated costs.
Since our office is currently closed to the public during the Order of the County Health Officer, there will be no in-person payments. Instead, taxpayers may pay online, via telephone or by mail. There is no cost for e-Check payments online. However, a third-party processing service fee will be charged for credit and debit card payments. The County receives no proceeds from the fee.
For additional information, please refer to the attached Frequently Asked Questions or email our office at email@example.com.