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San Diego County property tax bills still due in April, despite COVID-19

Posted: 2:28 PM, Mar 24, 2020
Updated: 2020-03-24 20:58:29-04
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SAN DIEGO (KGTV) - If you owe San Diego County property taxes, the deadline to pay is not changing.

The County Treasurer-Tax Collector’s office tells 10News state law governs when property taxes are due and payable.

In a statement, a spokesperson for the department said, “The second installment of property taxes is due no later than April 10. State action would be required to change the date. Critical county, school, and local city financial obligations are dependent on property taxes. They fund essential public services, including coronavirus response.”

Several local politicians have pushed for state officials to change the deadline to allow property owners to pay their taxes late without consequence.

Last week, San Diego City Council President Pro Tem Barbara Bry wrote a letter to the governor asking him to consider an Executive Order directing all county treasurer-tax collectors to defer April 10, 2020, property tax payments until July 15, 2020.

The letter states, “This is in line with the announcement that both the Internal Revenue Service and California Franchise Tax Board are postponing tax deadlines until July 15, 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic.”

Assemblywoman Lorena Gonzalez has publicly asked San Diego County Treasurer-Tax Collector Dan McAllister to waive late payment penalties.

“State law already allows Mr. McAllister to waive any fees and the 10 percent penalty for late payments on a case-by-case basis. I would urge him to use that power to relieve San Diego County’s homeowners and businesses of these penalties during this dire situation we are experiencing,” Gonzalez said in a statement to 10News.

The California Association of County Treasurers and Tax Collectors posted a statement on its website stating that tax collectors have the authority to handle specific scenarios where a taxpayer cannot physically pay their taxes on April 10 due to quarantine, illness or closure of the tax collector’s office as a result of COVID-19.

The statement continues, “In such cases, the Tax Collector will utilize their authority pursuant to Revenue and Taxation Code (RTC) 4985.2. to waive interest or penalties that would otherwise be imposed or collected with respect to a delinquent second installment of property taxes levied for the 2019-2020 fiscal year on residential real property.”

The San Diego County Treasurer-Tax Collector’s office told 10News that McAllister has no authority to extend the April 10 deadline as outlined in state law. However, taxpayers unable to pay on time can submit a penalty cancellation request after the April 10 deadline. The department reviews these requests on a case-by-case basis, and general guidelines are provided on the request form.

A spokesperson for the office said all property owners who can pay their taxes on time are encouraged to do so. This revenue helps keep the government running and provides vital services that the public relies on, especially in times like these. Taxpayers can pay online, via telephone or by mail. Using an e-check at sdttc.com is completely free.