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County property taxes due today

Kitsap County property taxes are due and must be delivered or postmarked by today.

The office in Port Orchard closes at 4:30 p.m. Post offices throughout the county close at different times, so last-minute taxpayers will need to check their local facility to determine mail schedules.

Kitsap County Treasurer Barbara Stephenson said any payments sent in after deadline will be returned with interest charges of one percent per month added.

“Many people say they don’t want to send their payments until they absolutely have to,” Stephenson said. “So in the last days before deadline there is always a long line in the lobby, which you see today.”

As for late fees, Stephenson does not give an inch.

“Taxes are always due on April 30 and Oct. 31,” she said. “The law is real clear.”

This year the county sent out around 115,000 notices. Property owners with a tax bill less than $50 must pay the full amount by April 30.

All others can pay half at that time and the remainder by Oct. 31.

The taxes must be paid in 50 percent increments. For instance, if someone has a $1000 tax bill, $500 is due today and the remainder in full any time between now and the second deadline.

Taxpayers cannot pay $750 now and $250 later.

Stephenson said the greatest difference in this year’s property tax process is the use of a local bank as a tax fulfillment “lockbox;” in this case a Bremerton branch of Kitsap Bank.

For the past 16 years, the money has been sent to an out-of-county address.

Stephenson said that contracting the processing to an outside agency helped to keep the treasurer’s department staff at a smaller level.

The tax statements paid by mortgage companies are indicated by an “information only” stamp.

Even so, Stephenson said that property owners who have refinanced or paid off their mortgage in the past year should verify their tax status by calling the Treasurer’s Office or checking the Web site.

For more information, call (360) 337-7135.

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