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Most Property Taxes Are Still Due April 10 — Here's What You Need to Know

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Property taxes are still due on April 10 in most California counties — despite the fact that county offices are closed.

Nearly all counties across the state have agreed to waive penalties for late payments though if you can demonstrate you've been impacted by the COVID-19 emergency and can't pay right now. Those exceptions will be determined on a case-by-case basis.

There are some exceptions to the due date — San Mateo and San Francisco counties both extended their deadlines to May 4. But those who are able to pay are encouraged to pay now.

Property taxes make up a huge portion of local governments’ revenue, said Graham Knaus, the executive director of the California State Association of Counties.

“It’s local revenue for local services,” he said. “It is the primary funding source for critical services in the community, like public health and public safety.”

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Local schools and county hospitals are also impacted.

Not paying taxes could lead to cash flow problems, Knaus said, causing some cities or counties to default on their loans, which could have serious long-term impacts. You might recall when some cities went bankrupt following the Great Recession.

Here’s what you need to know if you live in one of the nine Bay Area counties. Jump to the county where you live: Alameda, Contra Costa, Marin, Napa, San Francisco, San Mateo, Santa Clara, Solano or Sonoma.

 

Alameda

Property tax due date: April 10
What if I can’t pay? Beginning April 10, the Treasurer-Tax Collector’s Office will post an online form property owners can fill out to request to waive late-payment penalties. Taxpayers will need to fill out the form and sign a statement under penalty of perjury detailing why they are unable to pay on time for reasons related to the coronavirus that are beyond their control. That could include illness, unemployment, business losses or loss of rental income. Responses will be given within 60 days.
Who’s eligible for penalty forgiveness? Homeowners, small businesses and small landlords.
I can pay. How do I do that? There are no in-person payments at this time. Pay online, over the phone by calling 510-272-6800 or email ttaxpublicmail@acgov.org. You can also pay by mail by sending checks to Alameda County Treasurer & Tax Collector at 1221 Oak Street, Room 131, Oakland, CA, 94612.

 

Contra Costa

Property tax due date: April 10
What if I can’t pay? You have until June 30, 2020, to request a late-payment penalty cancellation, if you make your payment in full. Partial tax payments will not be accepted. You’ll need to provide documentation demonstrating why you were late. That could include, but is not limited to, a note from a physician or medical staff, hospital release form or employer notification letter for business closure, layoff, furlough or reduced hours. The request form for a penalty cancellation will be available online or the county can mail you a copy.
Who’s eligible for penalty forgiveness? Taxpayers who can demonstrate lost income or revenue due to the coronavirus pandemic.
I can pay. How do I do that? There is no in-person payment at this time. Cash payments are not accepted. Pay online or through an automated phone system at (925) 957-5280. If you need a receipt for proof of payment, a copy of your tax bill with the installment’s payment date is available in “View Bill” under Account Lookup. You can also email taxinfo@tax.cccounty.us. You can pay by mail by sending checks to the Contra Costa Tax Treasurer-Tax Collector's Office at P.O. Box 631, Martinez, CA, 94553.

 

Marin

Property tax due date: April 10
What if I can’t pay? Property owners in Marin County have until May 15 to request a waiver for a late-payment penalty. You must provide documentation that demonstrates you were impacted by the coronavirus either through illness, or lost income or revenue. Tax payments should be made by June 10. Waivers will be considered on a case-by-case basis.
Who’s eligible for penalty forgiveness? Homeowners, small landlords and small businesses that have fewer than 25 employees and had annual gross receipts of $7.5 million or less over the past three years.
I can pay. How do I do that? Pay online, over the phone at (800) 985-7277 or by mail postmarked April 10. Answers to frequently asked questions can be found here.  Send checks to Marin County Tax Collector at P.O. Box 4220, San Rafael, CA, 94913.

 

Napa

Property tax due date: April 10
What if I can’t pay? Beginning April 11, property owners unable to pay on time for reasons related to COVID-19 may submit a request for penalty cancellation online. The county’s Tax Collector’s Office has set up a special team to process requests for those who can demonstrate they were affected by the outbreak.
Who’s eligible for penalty forgiveness? Property owners impacted by COVID-19.
I can pay. How do I do that? Pay online here or call (855) 627-2121 to pay by phone. More information about how to pay your taxes can be found here. In-person payments are discouraged, but you can mail checks to the County Administration Building at 1195 Third Street, Suite 108, Napa, CA, 94559.

 

San Francisco

Property tax due date: May 4
What if I can’t pay? If you are unable to pay by May 4, you may request a waiver for a late payment at that time. You can’t request the waiver before the date that taxes are due. You should provide documentation demonstrating why you weren’t able to pay. You can submit your request here.
Who’s eligible for penalty forgiveness? Any taxpayers who are unable to pay their property taxes.
I can pay. How do I do that? City Hall offices are closed, but you can pay online. There is no cost for e-check payments. Don’t send cash. Send checks by mail to Office of the Treasurer & Tax Collector at P.O. Box 7426, San Francisco, CA, 94120-7426.

 

San Mateo

Property tax due date: May 4
What if I can’t pay? Penalty forgiveness will be determined on a case-by-case basis. Penalty waiver forms can be requested after May 4, when taxes are due.
Who’s eligible for penalty forgiveness? Taxpayers who can demonstrate causes beyond their control necessitate a late payment.
I can pay. How do I do that? If you can pay now, you are encouraged to do so by paying online here. Do not come to the office to pay in person. Do not send cash. You can pay by phone at (866) 220-0308. Make checks payable to Sandie Arnott, San Mateo County Tax Collector. You can mail those checks to the San Mateo County Tax Collector at PO Box 45878, San Francisco, CA 94145-0878.

 

Santa Clara

Property tax due date: April 10
What if I can’t pay? Property owners who cannot pay at this time can request a penalty cancellation online. The forms should be submitted after April 10. You can also make partial payments until your balance is paid in full, but the full balance needs to be paid by June 30. There will still be penalties for an unpaid balance after April 10, but you might be eligible for a penalty cancellation. You will have to provide documentation demonstrating why you were unable to pay on time.
Who’s eligible for penalty forgiveness? Property owners who can demonstrate they were impacted by the COVID-19 emergency.
I can pay. How do I do that? Pay online here or using the county’s mobile phone app. Send a check to the Department of Tax and Collections at PO Box 60534, City of Industry, CA 91716-0534 or Department of Tax and Collections at 70 W Hedding St., East Wing, 6th Floor, San Jose, CA 95110-1767. For more information, visit the county’s FAQ page.

 

Solano

Property tax due date: April 10
What if I can’t pay? Penalty forgiveness will be determined on a case-by-case basis. Questions can be directed to the Treasurer-Tax Collector’s Office by phone at (707) 784-7485 or by e-mail at ttccc@solanocounty.com.
Who’s eligible for penalty forgiveness? Taxpayers who can demonstrate causes beyond their control necessitate a late payment.
I can pay. How do I do that? Pay online here. Send a check to the mailing address indicated on the bill or through bill-pay at your bank. There are also two payment drop boxes located at 675 Texas Street, Fairfield, CA 94533 — one inside the first floor main lobby and a 24-hour drop box located on the outside of the building’s Union Street entrance.

 

Sonoma

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Property tax due date: April 10
What if I can’t pay? After April 10, the Treasurer-Tax Collector’s Office will consider written requests for a penalty waiver on a case-by-case basis for property owners who can demonstrate they were impacted by the COVID-19 emergency.
Who’s eligible for penalty forgiveness? Property owners who can demonstrate they were impacted by the coronavirus outbreak.
I can pay. How do I do that? Pay online here or by calling toll-free at (888) 636-8418 or (707) 565-2281. Checks, cashier’s checks and money order payments can be sent to the County of Sonoma Auditor-Controller-Treasurer-Tax Collector at P.O. Box 3879, Santa Rosa, CA 95402-3879. For questions and customers who can only pay in cash, contact Tax Collection staff by email at taxcollector@sonoma-county.org.

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