St. Louis County has added another tool in the resource arsenal for those struggling financially due to COVID-19:  the county board recently agreed to waive the late fees associated with delinquent property taxes.  The waived fee also comes with a deferment of the first half of the years taxes by a month and a half from the original May 15 due date.

To be eligible for both the deferment and the waived late fee, county property owners must fill out an application form by May 31; that form is available online by clicking here.  Anyone granted the abatement then has until July 15 to pay the their property taxes that were due for the first half of the year.

St. Louis County Auditor Nancy Nilsen noted that the county usually has a high-rate of on-time payments; that said, officials are concerned about the ability of those affected directly by the COVID-19 Pandemic to make those payments.  In a report to county commissioners, Nilsen said:

"The only thing state statute allows us to do is waive penalties for late payments and that is what this resolution does.  Tax payers do not have to wait until July 15 to pay their first half property taxes, however. In fact, I suggest people send in payments as they have the money to pay, so that it is not overwhelming for them come July 15."

The proposal for abatement came after reviewing incoming tax payments over the last few weeks.  Officials determined that the county would have enough funds on hand to allow for some deferral - as long as they outstanding payments were made by July 15.  The county board voted unanimously for the resolution.

There are some stipulations that would not allow a property owner the ability to apply; parcels that are already delinquent, used as "utility", or are in escrow do not qualify for the program.

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