Tuesday is the last day to pay your property taxes across the state.
Fresno County was busy collecting checks from property owners. The money is put into the county's general fund and pays for things like schools, police and fire.
Tax days for most aren’t rosy. In fact, the roses and green grass will cost you—every last square inch. Property taxes are due. “The first is bad enough; the second really hurts,” says Fresno County taxpayer Kathy Voswell.
For many, property tax is paid in two installments; many property owners prefer to cut a check once every six months.
“I thought it'd be worse” said those standing in line; most only had a problem when it came to signing their name at the bottom of the check. The lines in the County office were quick; many can thank the Fresno County drive-thru. “I don't have to find a parking spot,” says Mary-Lou Swenning who tried the drive-thru for the first time. “I can just give it to somebody. I like it, it’s a good deal.”
When all is said and done, Fresno County expects to collect over $714 million in property taxes.
“We have already collected over $1.6 million dollars online in one day,” says Fresno County’s Tax Collector Vicki Crow.
The County’s tax office says the numbers are a good start but hopes for property values to increase in the future. “What we really need to happen is for the growth and assesses values to go up,” says Crow.
Whether they go up or not, not everyone pays up. The County expects 3% of property owners not to. “Millions of dollars, that 3% is millions of dollars,” says Crow. Those who don't pay can expect a bigger fee. Late checks will get a 10% penalty and a $10 fee.
Those in line on the last day say they didn’t forget about the deadline, they just had a hard time letting go of the check. “I like to hang onto my money until the last minute,” says Vince who is a taxpayer in Fresno County.
The deadline to make a payment is 12:00 a.m. Tuesday. After 5:00 p.m., you can pay online or at a blue mailbox in downtown Fresno. But do not drop your check off at any mailbox, make sure it reads “12:00 a.m. pick-up” on it so it’s postmarked for Tuesday, April 10th.
Christina Lusby, Reporting.