Fresno County Auditor-Controller/Treasurer-Tax Collector, Oscar J. Garcia, reminds all taxpayers that the first installment of the 2020-21 Fresno County Secured Property Tax Bill will be considered delinquent, if not paid by 5:00 PM on December 10, 2020.
“In this critical time of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, the revenue generated in large extent from timely property tax payments is necessary to keep vital public safety services operating in order to meet the continued needs of the public,” says Garcia. “All County of Fresno property tax revenues stay in the County to fund critical public health and safety services, to make payments for voter-approved school bonds, and to provide tax revenues to other local government entities within the County, including all cities and special districts within the County.”
A ten-percent penalty will be added to all payments received in the office after 5:00 PM unless postmarked by the United States Postal Service on or before December 10, 2020.
However, for those taxpayers who were financially affected by the COVID-19 Pandemic, the Governor signed Executive Order N-61-20, granting County Tax Collectors the ability to cancel penalties, costs, and interest for taxes not timely paid on certain properties that were not delinquent prior to March 4, 2020. Relief from penalties, costs, and interest for property taxes not timely paid is available for residential real property occupied by the taxpayer and for real property owned and operated by a taxpayer that qualifies as a small business under the Small Business Administration’s Regulations, Code of Federal Regulations, Title 13, section 121.201.
A form titled Request for Penalty Cancellation – COVID-19 Impact will be available on the Auditor-Controller/Treasurer-Tax Collector’s website in mid-December for those taxpayers who do not make a timely payment by December 10, 2020 due to reasons directly related to COVID-19. A completed form along with the required supporting documentation and payment in full (base tax plus penalty) must be submitted for your request of penalty cancellation to be reviewed. Additional instructions including the required supporting documentation will be available as a part of the form.
Submittal of a penalty cancellation form will not guarantee approval; therefore, those taxpayers capable of making their tax payment by the December 10, 2020 delinquency date are encouraged to do so. Timely payment will avoid the potential of penalties being incurred if their penalty cancellation request is later denied.
Adds Garcia, “I understand and share the public’s anxiety and concern about the impacts of the 2020 COVID-19 pandemic. I am taking precautions to provide several options for taxpayers to safely make timely payments and help to ensure the health and safety of the public and our staff are protected.”
AVAILABLE PAYMENT OPTIONS:
U.S. POSTAL SERVICE: Payments made by check and money order should include a tax bill stub and made payable to “Fresno County Tax Collector”. Payments by mail should be sent to:
FRESNO COUNTY TAX-COLLECTOR
P.O. BOX 1192
FRESNO, CA 93715-1192
PAY BY PHONE or ONLINE: Payments can be made by credit card (2.25% fee), Debit Card ($3.29 fee), and eCheck ($1.50 fee) by calling our automated phone system at 559-600-3482 or by visiting our website at: https://www2.co.fresno.ca.us/0410/FresnoTTCPaymentApplication/.
PAYMENT DROP BOXES: Two drop boxes will be available at the locations below to deposit your check or money order payments from November 30 until 5:00 PM on December 10, 2020. Photos of each location will be posted to our website as soon as possible.
- One at the parking lot of the Hall of Records, 2281 Tulare Street, Fresno CA 93721
- One at the parking lot of the Dept. of Social Services Campus located at W. Pontiac and Pelco Way in Clovis
LOBBY OF THE HALL OF RECORDS: We highly recommend that you make your payment online or by mailing in your check or money order. However, if you want a receipt or need to pay with cash, you must pay at this location. Please be aware that before you will be allowed entrance into the building, you must pass a COVID-19 symptoms screening which includes a temperature check. In addition, you must wear a mask the entire time you are in the building.
EXTENDED HOURS: Beginning November 30 through December 10, 2020, our office will be open from 7:30 to 8:00 AM, Monday through Friday exclusively to accommodate those taxpayers age 60 and older and those who have conditions that put them in a high-risk category for complications from COVID-19. On Saturday, December 5, 2020, our office will be open from 8:00 AM to 1:00 PM for all taxpayers. To help keep members of the public and staff safe during these difficult times, taxpayers are encouraged to pay online or mail their payments if possible.
FAILURE TO RECEIVE A TAX BILL DOES NOT RELIEVE THE TAXPAYER OF THE RESPONSIBILITY TO MAKE TIMELY PAYMENTS.
Anyone who has recently acquired property must verify the taxes have been paid. Tax information and payments may be obtained by accessing the Fresno County website at www.fresnocountyca.gov or by calling our automated phone system at (559) 600-3482.
FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
Q. Under what circumstances could a property tax deadline be extended?
A. Pursuant to Revenue and Taxation Code section 2619, if the Tax Collector’s office is closed, the next business day that it is open is when the deadline applies.
Q. Can the County waive the associated service fee of 2.25% for credit card payments online and over the phone?
A. No. The County cannot waive the associated service fee of 2.25% for credit card transactions because the fees are charged by our credit card payment processor to facilitate the transactions. As a reminder, there is only a $3.21 fee for debit card and $1.50 fee for e-Check payments.
Q. Will property tax amounts be reduced due to the economic impact of COVID-19?
A. No. Property values are established on the lien date of January 1 of each year. The property tax amounts currently due for the 2020-21 secured taxes are based on a lien date of January 1, 2020, and therefore, no reduction will be made to the current bill. Should you have any questions related to a decline-in-value or business personal property valuations, please contact the Office of the Assessor at 559-600-3534 or visit their website at https://www.co.fresno.ca.us/departments/assessor.
Q. I am expecting a property tax refund. Will this refund be delayed by COVID-19?
A. State law requires the Tax Collector to issue refunds for replicated payments within 60 days of the date the initial payment is not subject to chargeback, dishonor, or reversal. However, due to the current State of Emergency, we may experience unusual delays in meeting this timeframe. # # #