The deadline to submit property tax payments without penalty remains April 10, a seemingly reluctant Alameda County Treasurer-Tax Collector Henry C. Levy said in an advisory on Friday that reminded residents only the state can legally change the due date.
While federal and state officials have moved the income tax submission deadline from April 15 to July 15, the California Legislature has not moved to adjust the due date for the second installment of 2019-20 state property tax payments amid the novel coronavirus crisis.
"We have received many requests to delay the payment deadline. Unfortunately, this is not under my, or the county’s authority and can only be changed by the State Legislature. The deadline for the second installment remains as April 10," Levy said on Friday afternoon.
So, Levy said, he and his staff remain ready to collect and process still-pending payments in the coming weeks -- although those payments will have to be made remotely because his department's offices in Oakland and Hayward are closed to the public due to state and county shelter-in-place orders.
"Our office understands the great difficulty with payments at this time due to layoffs and business closures," he said. "We will review all requests for removal of penalties beginning on April 13th. Please remember that property taxes are a vital source of income for cities, counties and schools, which must continue to be funded."
A professional association representing Levy and others in his position statewide recently issued a statement with similar sentiments.
"We understand and share the public’s anxiety and concern about the impacts of the 2020 COVID-19 pandemic," said officials with the California Association of County Treasurers and Tax Collectors.
"While we cannot change the April 10 deadline for the second installment of property taxes because critical county services, school and local financial obligations are dependent on those scheduled revenues, we can waive penalties, costs or other charges resulting from tax delinquency due to reasonable cause and circumstances related to this crisis," they added.
The Alameda County Treasurer-Tax Collector's Office closure began on Friday (March 20) and will run until at least April 7.
That status means all normal services are available, except in-person payments. "We will continue to accept online, phone and mail-in payments. Our paramount concern is to protect the health of the public and our employees," Levy said.
Options to submit payments include mailing in a check (postmarked by April 10), paying online either by e-check (no fee) or by credit card (2.5% fee) through the county website or paying by the phone system at 510-272-6800.
For questions, Levy urges residents to call 510-272-6800 or email firstname.lastname@example.org. The Treasurer-Tax Collector Office website is https://treasurer.acgov.org/index.page. To keep up-to-date on other county services, visit https://www.acgov.org/, where there are online services available 24/7.