King County bumps overdue property tax notices from September to June

February 21, 2012

By Staff

NEW — 6:30 p.m. Feb. 21, 2012

King County plans to start notifying homeowners about overdue property taxes sooner, officials announced Tuesday.

Officials plan to start sending notices in June, rather than September. County Executive Dow Constantine initiated the policy change after input from taxpayers and County Councilman Bob Ferguson.

The county assessor mailed property tax bills earlier in the month. The deadline for first-half property taxes is April 30.

Though the county is not required to send a delinquency notice, officials send a courtesy notice in late September to about 9,000 taxpayers. The property owners receiving the notice missed the April deadline and did not pay property taxes by Sept. 1.

Officials timed the notice to be close to the Oct. 31 due date for second-half property taxes.

Officials said the June notice to go to about 14,500 taxpayers. The county expects about half of the taxpayers receiving the notice should pay before July 1 to avoid the monthly interest charges and December penalty outlined in state law.

The county is also developing a system for taxpayers to sign up for email alerts about property tax deadlines. The tool is expected to be available as early as 2013.

“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,” Ferguson, chairman of the Council’s Government Accountability, Oversight and Financial Performance Committee, said in a statement. “This simple change will save taxpayers from accruing unnecessary late charges and sets a new standard of customer service for King County.”

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