County to earn millions off early property tax payments

Posted at 5:30 PM, Jan 03, 2018
and last updated 2018-01-03 23:53:58-05

More than 250,000 San Diego families prepaid all of their property taxes before New Years Day to boost their write off before tax reform limits kicked in.

The extra $312 million up front is going to earn the county an estimated extra $4.5 million in interest. Those funds will ultimately be distributed to school districts and 18 cities across the county.

Dan McAllister, the county's treasurer-tax collector, said the lines were out the door leading up to the end of last week, with people paying their second installments early. 

"We had so many people coming we practically converted to a mini-Disneyland system," he said. "I've never seen anything like it."

The county expects to receive $6 billion in property tax this year, but the payments aren't delinquent until April. Getting more of the money now means the county will earn more on its interest-bearing account, which pays about 1.35 percent.

The extra money would ultimately be enough, hypothetically, to run a temporary homeless shelter for a year; buy 81 school busses at $55,000 each, or pay annual salary and benefits for 48 teachers. 

Anna Recker, a Golden Hill resident, said she'd like to see the extra money help the homeless and fix the sidewalks.

"My husband went on a run just the other day and tripped and fell just because of the sidewalk," she said. 

McAllister said the county distributes the money based on arrangements with each agency. He says when that time comes, they should have more cash at their fingertips.

The second installment of property tax is due in February, and delinquent after April 10.