For Immediate ReleaseMay 21, 2020
Governor’s executive order reinforces existing penalty cancellation process
San Rafael, CA – Homeowners and small businesses who have been financially impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic may seek relief from penalties on property taxes that became delinquent after March 4 and before May 6, 2021. Parameters for this program were established by an executive order issued by Governor Gavin Newsom earlier this month.
Procedures for the program are being developed in conjunction with county tax collection offices across the state. Specifics about how the program will be implemented in Marin County will be available June 11. The parameters of the new program will supersede those adopted by the Marin County Board of Supervisors on March 31.
Marin County originally established a local COVID-19 penalty waiver program prior to the April 10 property tax deadline. Applications for that program were accepted by the Marin County Tax Collector until May 15. The eligibility criteria under that program was expansive and it also required payment by June 10.
There were 1,722 property owners who applied for a penalty waiver under the original Marin County COVID-19 penalty waiver program. To date, 1,078 applications have been reviewed, of which 1,076 were approved and 262 have paid their taxes. The tax office expects to complete the remaining 644 cases by May 31.
Taxpayers who filed a Marin County COVID-19 application for penalty waiver by May 15 and are unable to pay their taxes by June 10 will be re-evaluated in accordance with the Governor’s executive order based on guidelines provided by the State Controller’s Office. The eligibility criteria for the new program focuses on homeowners and small businesses who are directly affected by the pandemic and requires that the tax payment and supporting documentation accompany each Request for Penalty Cancellation.
Information about the new penalty relief program authorized by the Governor’s executive order will be posted at marincounty.org/penaltywaiver on June 11. Property owners with unpaid property taxes that became delinquent after March 3, 2020 can expect a notice by mail from the Marin County Tax Collector with information about requests for penalty cancellation.
While the Tax Collector’s Office remains open at the Marin County Civic Center in San Rafael, taxpayers are asked to submit requests for cancellation of penalties online or by mail. Tax payments should also be made online, by phone, or by mail rather than in-person to prevent potential spread of COVID-19.
There is no fee when paying property taxes 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 service provider.
Taxpayers can contact the county tax office at 415-473-6133 or by email for assistance with requests for penalty cancellation, payments, or other property tax questions, or they can visit marincounty.org/taxes.
Roy GivenDIRECTORDEPARTMENT OF FINANCE
Marin County Civic Center3501 Civic Center DriveSuite 225San Rafael, CA 94903(415) 473-7000
CRS Dial 711