Feb. 21, 2012
Earlier notice of overdue payments will help property taxpayers avoid extra charges
Delinquency notices will now be mailed in June instead of September
King County will move up the annual mailing of property tax delinquency notices from September to June, under a policy change made by County Executive Dow after hearing from taxpayers and County Councilmember Bob Ferguson.
"By sending notices earlier, we can help taxpayers avoid unnecessary late fees and provide better customer service," said Executive Constantine.
"I reached out to Executive Constantine to see how we could improve our notification system and save taxpayers money after hearing concerns from a constituent," said Councilmember Ferguson, chair of the Council's Government Accountability, Oversight, and Financial Performance Committee. "This simple change will save taxpayers from accruing unnecessary late charges and sets a new standard of customer service for King County."
To avoid penalties, the first half of property taxes is due by April 30.
While there is no requirement to send a delinquency notice, for many years the County has sent a single courtesy notice in late September to about 9,000 taxpayers who missed the April deadline and whose taxes remained unpaid as of September 1. The September notice was timed to be close to the October 31 due date for the second half of property taxes owed and to help taxpayers avoid the eight percent penalty imposed in December.
The new June notice will go out to approximately 14,500 taxpayers. The County anticipates that about half of those taxpayers will pay before July 1 and avoid the additional monthly interest charges and December penalty that are mandated by state law.
King County is also developing a system for taxpayers to sign up for email alerts to notify them when tax payments are due. This tool, expected to be available as early as 2013, should further enhance customer service and reduce the number of delinquent property tax payments.