MADERA – Staff has been busy at the Madera County Treasurer-Tax Collector’s Office processing property tax payments, including a surprising number of over-payments by many taxpayers.
“We collected over $79 million, consisting mostly of first installments and some second installments of property taxes,” reports Madera County Treasurer-Tax Collector Tracy Kennedy Desmond.
Kennedy Desmond said her department completed posting all of the Dec. 10 mail and accompanying payments by Dec. 20.
“What was time-consuming this year was that we received an inordinate amount of overpayments,” says Kennedy Desmond. “Hundreds of taxpayers mistakenly paid their first installments including penalties. Our tax bill format has not changed, so we are unsure why the large amount of overpayments were made. We will have to process a refund for each overpayment, so if you think you overpaid your taxes, you will not receive a refund until after Jan. 20.”
Kennedy Desmond also reports an unusually large volume of walk-in traffic leading up to the Dec. 10 deadline.
“On Monday and Tuesday Dec. 9 and 10, over 2,700 property tax transactions were handled over the counter with our current staffing levels, representing over $3 million in payments.” stated Kennedy Desmond. “Remember that is walk-in traffic only, and does not include any mail. This kind of personal delivery is unheard-of.”
Kennedy Desmond credits her staff for a job well done.
“My dedicated and experienced staff deserve credit for handling this kind of volume,” she says. “They really outdid themselves. Madera County taxpayers should be very proud of them. I know I certainly am!”
Of the $79 million collected in property taxes, more than 85% will be apportioned to the various Madera County School Districts and the two cities, Madera and Chowchilla.
Many taxpayers took advantage of paying their taxes with a credit card, with the office processing nearly 1,000 transactions totaling over $1.3 million dollars in tax payments, the largest number of credit card payments ever received. Many people chose this payment option even though a convenience fee is charged to the credit card holder.
The next tax deadline is Apr. 10, and payments must be postmarked by that date to avoid penalties.