Property Taxes Are Probably Still Due Despite Coronavirus

In a statement on Saturday, Gov. Gavin Newsom of California praised the counties’ “commitment” to cancel penalties because of “demonstrated economic hardship” caused by the virus. “This is good news for Californians,” he said.

A spokesman for Mr. Newsom said on Thursday that his office was “looking into further actions as well.”

Taxpayer and business groups have urged the governor to extend the deadline by 90 days, arguing that applying for waivers is burdensome, and that counties may grant them inconsistently.

Florida has extended property tax deadlines statewide about two weeks, to April 15 from March 31, because of the virus. King County in Washington State, which includes Seattle, a city hit hard by the virus, has postponed its spring deadline by a month, to June 1. West Virginia approved a statewide one-month extension to May 1. San Francisco has moved its deadline from early April to May 4, when it expects a stay-at-home order to be lifted.

Some New York state and county officials have asked Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo to postpone May property tax deadlines. A request for comment sent to the New York governor’s office was forwarded to the State Division of the Budget. A division spokesman, Freeman Klopott, said Wednesday that the state was “open to discussing adjustments to those dates at the request of the impacted local taxing jurisdictions.”

New York City follows a different payment schedule. In a transcript of remarks on March 22, Mayor Bill de Blasio suggested that the city was unlikely to extend an April 15 city tax payment deadline for some homeowners, given “skyrocketing” expenses and “plummeting” revenue because of the coronavirus crisis. But he added, “We’re going to look at everything.”

Here are some questions and answers about paying property taxes:

What happens if I don’t pay my property taxes?

Failure to pay your property taxes can lead to financial headaches like penalties and interest and, eventually, more serious problems like a lien on your home. Local governments may auction delinquent properties to collect back taxes, or sell the liens to companies that, in turn, may foreclose. Some areas, however, have temporarily halted tax lien sales because of the coronavirus outbreak.

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