How and when do you pay your property taxes?

Joined
Apr 27, 2010
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19,496
Location
Suburban Washington DC
Assuming no mortgage of course. Have half a dozen bills due the end of the month. Although they aren’t due until the end of the year, they give a discount for paying early that is greater than the money would be earning in the bank even with the current high interest rates.

Do you,

1. Pay in person at the tax office

2. Mail a check

3. Use your bank’s bill pay

4. Use the tax collectors website and pay with an electronic check for free

5. Use the tax collectors website and pay with an electronic check for a nominal fee

6. Use the tax collectors website and pay with a credit card for free

7. Use the tax collectors website and pay with a credit card for a significant fee

In the past and for a few years after buying the properties and before #3-7 were an option, I would do #1 as it felt as I was doing an annual ritual. After that got old and driving sometimes an hour each way to the tax collectors office seemed stupid, I switched to #2 if I didn’t wait until the last few days.

Now, I prefer #6. With my 2% cash back card I get $50 back on the one and only bill that allows for that form of payment. I don’t mind #7 so much as their fee is 2.5% but that nets to 0.5% with my card, and when I figure gas and inconvenience to pay in person, is about a wash.

Second choice is #4 and #5, the latter fee being just $1.49. Not much more than the cost of a stamp and envelope, such that I haven’t used #2 in a long time.

Third choice is #3 if there is still a week before it’s due.
 
I don't have many options but do #2
Number #1 isn't feasible.
I always track or certify my payments showing they received them.
It's too easy for them to shred your payment and 6 months later nail you fees and penalties.

I would like an online option though via my checking account and not a CC.
 
I used to do 5, but then switched to 2, but now we do 1. There is a slot in an outside door that we drop our payment into. It's the least expensive way to pay our taxes. The municipal building is adjacent to a park so we combine paying taxes with our daily weekend walk. We pay quarterly.
 
House in NY - Pay by check at the town office.
Cottage in Ontario - Scotiabank bill payment service, no extra fee incurred.
 
Mail a check….you can see they deposit it pretty quickly after receipt and have proof of payment which makes record keeping easier with check image in banking statement.

Why waste your time driving to any tax office unless you want to talk with townies (fine reason)

If something goes amiss on credit card they charge two months interest at 25% and tax bill approaches $8k . Happened once with improper check from client and checks bouncing.
 
#5 is the best I can get. It's a $2 fee. One thing I found out if done by mail or electronically it's not past due until over 30 days late. :) At least in Illinois.
 
I pay my taxes every 6 months when the semi annual payment is due. In my county the fee is $0.25 to do an E-bank transfer on the county website. I will not and have not used escrow for the money with my mortgage. I want my money and my interest and the ability to use that money for something else if needed.

Just my $0.02
 
As late as possible.
Why? Looking at just one of the bills, it has the following payment date options,

Sept 30 $1,411.25
Oct 31 $1,434.26
Nov 30 $1,487.27
Dec 31 $1,480.28

I save $69 paying now instead of at the end of the year. If I put $1,411 in the bank earning 5% interest, that would only make $18 in those three months. Seems a no-brainer to pay early.
 
Why? Looking at just one of the bills, it has the following payment date options,

Sept 30 $1,411.25
Oct 31 $1,434.26
Nov 30 $1,487.27
Dec 31 $1,480.28

I save $69 paying now instead of at the end of the year. If I put $1,411 in the bank earning 5% interest, that would only make $18 in those three months. Seems a no-brainer to pay early.
Ours is due twice a year.

There is no penalty up to the due date and no incentive to pay early. Two payments approaching $4000 each. Ima not give them money early. Why should I?
 
I used to do number 1 but now do number 5. A 50 cent service fee is cheaper than mailing it and it's not worth dealing with the town offices. They don't take credit cards unfortunately so no rewards there.
 
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