Montgomery County property owners will have extra month to pay their next tax bills and new payment plans have been set up for those whose finances have been crippled by the coronavirus pandemic.
On Wednesday, Ohio Tax Commissioner Jeffrey McClain approved Montgomery County’s request to extend the property tax due date from July 17 to Aug. 14 due to the hardship on both residents and the county offices that calculate and collect taxes.
“This extension will provide us more time to prepare our offices for the busy tax collection season and ensure a safe experience for both our employees and taxpayers,” said Montgomery County Treasurer Russ Joseph.
With thousands of residents unemployed during the pandemic, Joseph said the extension will give people more time to receive federal stimulus checks, delayed unemployment assistance or possibly return to work. Businesses owners have been hit hard by the loss of customers or been forced to close temporarily.
Both the treasurer and auditor offices have been operating with limited staffing since March and need time for staff to return to the office before they can prepare for the amount of work required for the second-half property tax billing and collection cycle, according to Joseph.
Along with the extension, the treasurer’s office is offering three payment plans to assist taxpayers who need additional time to make payments as a result of the pandemic as well as stay current on future tax bills. Two of the three options will allow the taxpayer to avoid paying the usual 10% late fee penalty.
- COVID-19 six-month payment plan: Plan combines the unpaid balance from this year with the estimated first-half property taxes due in Feb. 2021 and divides that amount into six monthly payments beginning in August. If payments are completed on time, the 10% penalty will be remitted.
- COVID-19 12-month payment plan: Plan combines the unpaid balance from this year with the estimated taxes due in 2021 and divides that amount into 12 monthly payments beginning in August. If payments are completed on time, the 10% penalty will be remitted.
- Standard 24-month payment plan: Plan combines the unpaid balance with the total estimated taxes due in 2021 and 2022 and divides that amount into 24 monthly payments beginning in August. The 10% penalty will be assessed to taxes due in 2020 but will not be assessed to any taxes due in 2021 or 2022 if the plan is completed on time.
“Our goal is to ensure that no one slips through the cracks. We hope these plans will give homeowners and business owners options to fit every budget, while fulfilling their duties as property owners,” Joseph said. “Now more than ever, our local schools and communities need these funds to deliver critical services to our residents.”
With the new tax due date set for Aug. 14th, property owners can expect to receive their tax bills from the week of July 6, according to the treasurer’s office.
Joseph and Montgomery County Auditor Karl Keith asked the state for an extension to the tax payment deadline last week.
The payment extension will result in a short delay for local communities to receive final disbursements from the auditor’s office. But the office already provides property tax advances to local jurisdictions. Earlier this year, 70% of jurisdictions requested an advance from first-half tax collection, according to Keith.
“We’ll continue to offer tax advances so our local schools and municipalities can maintain the essential services that we rely on in times of crisis, such as paramedics and public safety personnel,” Keith said.
Joseph and Keith talked to local cities, school districts, libraries and other entities that rely on property tax revenue to operate prior to requesting the extension.
Joseph said they heard back from about 15 jurisdictions and only two preferred not to postpone tax collection, but “it wasn’t going to cause a disastrous situation for them.” He said the Dayton Homebuilders Association and the Dayton Realtors also supported the extension.
“We know that these services needed provided. We know that our communities desperately need these funds,” he said. “But we also know that there a lot of unemployed citizens in Montgomery County and we struck a good balance.”
At least nine counties have asked for similar extensions, according to the Ohio Department of Taxation spokesman. In addition to Montgomery County, counties asking for extensions include Belmont, Cuyahoga, Delaware, Franklin, Geauga, Highland, Monroe and Washington.
Keith on Tuesday filed a different request with the tax commissioner to ask if the county can delay a full reappraisal of properties required by law every six years to determine their tax values. That decision is pending.
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