For Immediate ReleaseApril 02, 2020
Tax Collector will consider COVID-19 circumstances regarding penalty waiver
San Rafael, CA – The County of Marin understands that the COVID-19 public health emergency has had a significant impact on its residents and businesses. It’s had a similar impact on the County’s collection of property taxes as well.
Although the Tax Collector’s Office does not have the authority to provide a blanket waiver of the April 10 deadline to file the second installment of annual property taxes without a penalty, it does have the ability to waive the penalty based on certain circumstances, including financial hardships due to COVID-19. Waivers will be considered on a case-by-case basis.
Now, answers about waivers and other property tax questions are available online.
To help support vital public services during the emergency, the County urges all taxpayers who have the ability to pay their taxes to comply with the deadline. Those who cannot pay should go to the Tax Collector’s COVID-19 webpage or talk to staff from the Tax Collectors Office about their options, including filing a form that allows taxpayers to explain their circumstances and request penalty relief.
Between April 10 and May 15, taxpayers who were unable to pay on time for reasons related to COVID-19 may submit a COVID-19 Application for Penalty Waiver.
Tax Collector Roy Given reiterated during the March 31 meeting of the Marin County Board of Supervisors that only the California State Legislature has the authority to change the April 10 delinquency date. He said 120 local public agencies such as fire departments, sanitation, and school districts rely on property tax revenues to maintain essential services that are especially important during a public health emergency.
In an urgency item added to its March 31 agenda, the Board voted to send letters to California State Senator Mike McGuire and Assemblymember Marc Levine in support of state legislation regarding a property tax penalty waiver through July 1 due to the pandemic.
Although the Tax Collector’s Office remains open at the Marin County Civic Center, taxpayers are advised to pay online, by phone or by mail, rather than visiting in-person to prevent potential spread of COVID-19. The online and telephone payment service uses a secure internet portal, and there is no service fee when paying with an electronic check (e-check). Just like a paper check, an e-check uses the customer’s bank routing number and account number to complete the transaction.
Payments made by credit or debit card are subject to a service fee of 2.35% of the transaction, with a minimum fee of $1.49. Service fees for credit or debit card payments are not retained by County; they are paid to a service provider.
Here are several options for property owners:
Call volumes to the office may be high, but marincounty.org/taxes provides many self-service options. Taxpayers can call the office at (415) 473-6133 for assistance with online payments or for answers to other property tax questions.
Roy GivenDIRECTORDEPARTMENT OF FINANCE
Marin County Civic Center3501 Civic Center DriveSuite 225San Rafael, CA 94903(415) 473-7000
CRS Dial 711