PORT ORCHARD — If you pay your property taxes instead of your mortgage lender, it’s time to pony up some dough.
Kitsap County property owners have until Monday, Nov. 2 to pay the second half of their 2020 tax bill. After that date, interest charges and penalties will be added to your tax bill.
While the first-half payment deadline was extended due to the then-emerging COVID-19 pandemic, an extension of the second half wasn’t in the plans, the county assessor’s office said in a news release on Tuesday.
“An extension of the second half deadline could create substantial financial risk for many cities, counties, school districts, fire districts, and other special-purpose districts,” the assessor’s office said. “These jurisdictions rely heavily on the timely receipt of the year’s second installment of property tax revenue to make December debt service payments.”
To make the payment process easier, the county is providing several ways for property owners to pay their taxes. Payments can be made online through a secure online eCommerce system. Third-party service fees apply.
Although the COVID-19 outbreak has closed Kitsap County facilities and their customer service counters — making the in-person payment process unavailable — taxpayers can pay by mail, as long as their envelope is postmarked no later than Nov. 2. Those paying by this method must include their statement(s) with their check or money order. Cash should not be sent through the mail. If taxpayers are unable to find their statements, they are asked to write their account number on the check or money order.
Taxpayers also can drop off their payment envelope at a specially marked, secure drop box outside the Kitsap County Administration Building, 619 Division St. in Port Orchard.
The county said it initiated a payment plan program to help taxpayers impacted by COVID-19. This program continues to be available for real property homes, commercial businesses, land and mobile homes in Kitsap County. To participate, property owners must sign an agreement with the Kitsap County Treasurer.
If participating owners also have a mortgage, they should notify their lender about the payment plan program. The county treasurer administers the program and monthly payments are credited to the property tax account once the terms of the payment plan are met.
Taxpayers participating in the plan will also need to pay interest of one percent each month on the outstanding amount of their tax bill, as required by Washington state law. However, the statutory 8-percent penalty applied annually on Dec. 1 for outstanding property taxes is waived for those who successfully complete the payment plan, county officials said.
A payment plan for 2020 taxes may be for two or three months, to be completed by Dec. 15.
For more information on the 2020 payment plan or other payment options, visit the county’s payment options page at www.kitsapgov.com/treas/Pages/Payment-Options.aspx, email the treasurer at email@example.com or call 360-337-7160.