STATEMENT REGARDING COVID-19
AND THE APRIL 10 PROPERTY TAX DEADLINE
BAKERSFIELD, CA - I understand that this is a very stressful time, especially for those suffering direct effects from this public health crisis, and my office is committed to helping in any way we can. Kern County property owners affected by the COVID-19 virus may have late penalties cancelled if they are unable to pay their property taxes by the April 10 deadline.
We have no authority to extend the April 10 deadline, as it is specified in State Law. However, beginning on April 11, the day after property taxes are due, people unable to pay on time for reasons related to COVID-19 may submit a request for penalty cancellation with their payment. Special COVID-19 Penalty Cancellation Request forms can be found on our website at www.kcttc.co.kern.ca.us beginning on April 11. Once County offices reopen, the department will set up a special team to process these requests for those who demonstrate they were affected by the outbreak.
We encourage all property owners who can pay their taxes on time to do so. This revenue helps keep local government running and providing vital services that the public relies on, especially in times like these.
Since Kern County buildings are currently closed to the public during this emergency, there will be no in-person payments. Instead, taxpayers can pay online or by mail as described below. Also, please see the attached responses to our most Frequently Asked Questions.
Various methods of payment are available:
1) Pay online: via the Treasurer-Tax Collector’s website at www.kcttc.co.kern.ca.us:
E-Checks (ACH) can be used for on-line payments with zero fees.
Credit cards and debit cards have a 2% card processing fee based on the amount of taxes paid. The 2% processing fee is the same whether you pay on-line or in person.
2) Mail your check: KCTTC Payment Center
P.O. Box 541004
Los Angeles, CA 90054-1004
3) NO cash payments: Between the dates of March 16 and April 14, 2020 (and possibly longer), taxpayers cannot make in person cash payments due to the closure of the County Administrative Center. Please use a personal check or obtain a cashier’s check or money order and mail it to the address above.
Coronavirus (COVID-19) Impact to Property Taxes
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
1. Can you extend the April 10, 2020 deadline?
Answer:No. The County does not have the authority under State law to extend or postpone the second installment property tax deadline of April 10, 2020.
2. County buildings are no longer open to the public, what are my payment options?
Answer:Although we are not accepting in-person payments currently at our offices, taxpayers can pay online or by mail. There is no cost for e-Check (ACH) payments online. For online credit/debit card transactions, our card payment processor charges a 2% service fee. Please visit www.kcttc.co.kern.ca.us to review all payment methods, and several other online self-service options.
3. What if I am unable to make a full property tax payment by April 10, 2020 due to the impact of COVID-19?
Answer:We encourage all property owners who can pay their taxes on time to do so. This revenue helps keep local government running and providing vital services that the public relies on, especially in times like these. We are unable to accept partial payments so if you cannot make a payment in full due to the impact of COVID-19, you can request a penalty cancellation outlined below.
4. Can I request a penalty cancellation if I am unable to make a timely payment due to COVID-19?
Answer:Yes. However, a penalty cancellation is not something that taxpayers request in advance. Beginning on April 11, the day after property taxes become delinquent, taxpayers unable to pay on time for reasons related to COVID-19 may submit a request for penalty cancellation with their payment. The penalty cancellation request form can be found on our website beginning April 11. The department will set up a special team to process these requests for those who demonstrate they were affected by the outbreak.
5. Can the County waive the associated service fees of 2% percent for Credit/Debit card payments online?
Answer:No. The County cannot waive the associated service fees of 2% for credit/debit card transactions. The fees are charged by our card payment processor to facilitate the transaction. As a reminder, there is no cost for e-Check (ACH) payments online.
6. Will property tax amounts be reduced due to economic impact of COVID-19?
Answer:No. Property tax amounts are established on the lien date of January 1 of each year. The property tax amounts currently due for the 2019-2020 Annual Secured Property Taxes have a lien date of January 1, 2019, and therefore, no reduction will be made to the current bill. Should you have questions related to decline-in-value or business personal property valuations, please contact the Office of the Kern County Assessor.
7. I mailed in my property tax payment, however your system is not showing my taxes as paid. What should I do?
Answer: Processing times for mailed payments may be delayed due to reduced staffing as a result of the current public health crisis. We will process all mailed payments as soon as possible. Any payment postmarked prior to the April 10 deadline will be considered a timely payment even if processed after the deadline.
8. If using the U.S. Postal Service (USPS) or courier services (FedEx, UPS, etc.) to deliver my property tax payment, and County Buildings are closed, how will my payment be received?
Answer: As of this date, we are receiving mail from the USPS and courier services. However, there may be delays in processing those payments received from the USPS and courier services. Any payments post marked or received prior to the deadline will be processed as a timely payment even if processed after the deadline.
9. After County Buildings open, should I come into the Treasurer-Tax Collector’s Office to pay my taxes
Answer: No. Even after County buildings reopen, it is strongly recommended that you do NOT come into the office to pay. You do not want to stand in line with hundreds of other people. In fact, there may still be a Statewide order against gatherings that would prohibit in person payments. Please utilize one of the alternate methods of payment.