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Pay property tax by July 15 to avoid penalty

By Scott Felten

Mower County Auditor/Treasurer

The end of the two-month extension of time to pay first-half property taxes without incurring a penalty is drawing near.  First half 2020 property taxes must be paid (or envelopes postmarked) by Wednesday, July 15 to avoid penalties from beginning to accrue.

The Mower County Board of Commissioners had previously passed a resolution on April 14 to abate penalties from being assessed on first half 2020 property tax payments for two months. This was done to provide temporary relief to businesses and individuals who had been negatively impacted by COVID-19.  So as long as first half property taxes are paid by July 15, no penalty will be charged.

Penalties for late payment will be assessed starting on July 16. The penalty schedule for unpaid property taxes is detailed on the back of each property tax statement.  The penalties essentially are moved back by two months.  So the May 16 penalty will now be charged on July 16 and the June 1 penalty will now be charged on Aug. 1, and so on.

Most property owners did pay their property tax by the normal due date of May 15 and that was greatly appreciated.   The county not only collects taxes based on its tax levy to fund its operations, but also collects taxes based on the tax levies of school districts, cities, and townships in the county.  The county made disbursements of tax levy dollars to these other entities based on the amount of property taxes collected through May 20.

There are many options available for making your property tax payment.

Property taxes can be paid in person. Beginning Monday, July 13, the Mower County Government Center will return to its regular hours of being open to the public from 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.  The public should enter through the Law Enforcement Center (LEC) entrance on the northwest side of the Government Center.

A property tax payment drop box is located just outside the Law Enforcement Center (LEC) entrance on the northwest side of the Government Center for people to drop off their tax payments 24 hours a day.  The drop box is emptied multiple times during the day.  If people would like a receipt of their tax payment mailed to them, just include a short note with your payment.

Tax payments can also be made by mail, using the green envelopes included with your property tax statement; just remember to include your payment stub with your check. As long as the mailing envelope with your payment is postmarked on or before July 15, your payment will be considered as timely received.

Property tax payments can also be made online by going to the auditor-treasurer’s page of the county’s website http://co.mower.mn.us.  Convenience fees apply for paying by credit/debit card or by e-check.  You will need your parcel ID number to pay on-line and this number is found on your property tax statement.

Property taxes can also be paid over the phone using a credit/debit card or e-check (convenience fees apply) by calling 507-396-8219 or 507-396-8220.  Please have your parcel ID number(s) handy when paying over the phone.

As a reminder to taxpayers set up to have their property taxes paid by automatic withdrawal from their bank account, a withdrawal did not occur on May 15, so a withdrawal will now occur on July 15, unless you have already paid your first half taxes by some other method, such as by check or over the phone earlier this spring.

If you have questions about property taxes, please call the auditor-treasurer’s office at 507-437-9528. Our office also has a Facebook page www.facebook.com/Mower-County-Auditor-Treasurer-Office-425092028322302/.

Elections Office Reminder

Just a reminder that all county elections operations for the Aug. 11 primary and Nov. 3 general elections are being conducted at the Mower County Elections Office in Austin City Hall, 500 4th Ave. NE, rather than at the Auditor-Treasurer’s office in the Mower County Government Center.

Anyone wanting to request an absentee ballot application should contact the Elections Office at 507-437-9535 or at elections@co.mower.mn.us.  Anyone wanting to absentee vote in person can do so at the Elections Office during regular business hours of 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Monday – Friday.