By Karen Morfitt

JEFFERSON COUNTY, Colo. (CBS4) – While a majority of homeowners wrap their property tax payments into their mortgage, those who don’t had payments due during the height of the coronavirus.

(credit: CBS)

“People were losing their jobs or taking furlough days. We noticed property tax collections were down,” Jefferson County Treasurer Jerry DiTullio said.

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He says they sent out more than 11,000 late notices in July, up from around 7,000 the year before.

DiTullio says a majority of those are seniors or commercial property owners.

“If the taxpayers can’t pay their taxes, then the financial health of the county suffers. That’s not just Jefferson County, that’s the fire district, the school district, the water district and the city,” he said.

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Typically, property owners will be hit with a 1% penalty fee for every month past due, and monthly payment plans are not usually an option. However, DiTullio says an update to state law in June means those rules have changed.

They can now waive the interest fees 30 days at a time until October and offer a number of monthly payment options.

It’s one more tool in the toolbox for county treasures to help taxpayers make their payments. The hope is the help now will pay off in the long run.

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“We want everyone to be able to start at zero come 2021.”

Karen Morfitt