SANTA ANA – Treasurer-Tax Collector Freidenrich announces her full support for waiver of penalties, costs or other charges as allowed by existing state law for taxpayers that fail to make a timely payment. The impact of the COVID19 has been financially devastating for many Orange County taxpayers.
The last timely payment date remains at April 10, as neither the County nor the Treasurer-Tax Collector has the legal authority under the statute to change or extend this date. The April 10 date is set by state law, which can only be amended by the legislature.
We understand that the Federal and State governments have granted extensions for both the Federal and State Income Tax deadlines and as noted above, the County has no authority to change state law. If the State were to extend the deadline, it would have a significantly impact on local governments and K-12 School and Community College Districts (Schools) revenues, who have only received just over half of the annual property tax for this year.
In many local governments, property taxes represent one of the largest single annual revenue sources and pay for the public safety and other local government services you receive daily during the year. In addition, Schools are the largest recipient of property taxes here in Orange County (Where Your Property Tax Goes). For Secured property taxes, the bills are mailed in September and have a due date of November 1 and February 1 (with grace periods to December 10 and April 10, respectively), just two payments in a year. These local agencies would bear the brunt of any delay in the receipt of these vitally important property taxes that they need to provide local services.
“COVID-19, and the State’s order for all non-essential businesses to close, has had a significant impact on our taxpayers” Treasurer Freidenrich said. “I plan to grant waivers on penalties to taxpayers as allowed by existing law to assist them during these challenging times.”
For taxpayers that do not make payment of property taxes due to COVID-19 by April 10, we expect them to submit a Penalty Cancellation Request Form and documentation to support the cancellation of penalties as allowed in limited circumstances under current state law. The existing state law, which Treasurer Freidenrich will follow, allows for waiver of penalties, costs and other charges when failure to make a timely payment is due to reasonable cause and circumstances beyond the taxpayer’s control, and occurred notwithstanding the exercise of ordinary care in the absence of willful neglect.
In closing, we appreciate those taxpayers that can pay by the April 10 date as these dollars will be allocated in April to the local agencies that provide day-to-day services to taxpayers. We appreciate your assistance during this very challenging time for all of us in the County of Orange. Please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org if you have property tax payment questions, sign up for our property tax information subscription list at ocgov.com/octaxreminder by text or email and “Stay Home and Pay Online” at ocgov.com/octaxbill. Please stay safe.