Commissioners Waive Late Penalties on June Property Tax Installment

By Benjamin Cox on April 20, 2020 at 6:30pm

The Morgan County Commissioners passed a resolution today to waive penalties on property taxes paid late in June. The first installment of property taxes for Morgan County residents are due on Wednesday, June 10th. Treasurer Jenny Geirnaeirt says its in the interest of being fair while also trying to take into account the current state of the economy. “The due dates for property taxes this year are Wednesday, June 10th and Thursday, September 10th, which is about a week later than they normally are. Mobil home payments are due July 13th. As far as real estate, the reason why we kept the due dates in June and did not move the due date is because it’s important that we collect property taxes, because that money is collected and then distributed to all the taxing bodies – the cities, the school districts, the road districts, the levee districts – in order for those taxing bodies to function. It’s imperative that we collect property tax [on time]. Some people have mentioned about being waived. You can’t waive property tax because in the state of Illinois, property tax pays for [the function of] taxing bodies.”

Geirnaeirt says its also to be fair to those who can’t pay taxes right now. “We also recognized that due to the pandemic, there may be people that are effected that either not working or their businesses have not been able to operate. In order to try and help them, if their taxes are not paid by the first due date; normally there is a 1.5% penalty for every 30 days it’s late; the county board has passed a resolution that will waive those penalties as long as the property taxes are paid in full by the second installment on September 10th. If they are paid by then, no penalties will accrue. If they do not, however, the penalties will be retroactive back to the June due date. For mobile homes, it’s a little different because the penalties are $25 for every 30 days the payments are late. Those penalties will be delayed as well, as long as they are paid by the September due date.”

Geirnaeirt says that no waiver form needs to be filed to get the interest postponed. Geirnaeirt says there’s a new procedure for dropping off property tax payments. “Typically, we have about 1150 people physically come into the courthouse and pay their first installment. Of those 1150 people last year, only 7% paid cash. Everyone else came in and handed us a check with their payment stub. This year, because of the pandemic and due to the health and safety of the entire public and my staff and I, we are not going to allow people to come into the courthouse to pay. There are several options to pay. They can pay by mail. They can pay online, which is on the back of the tax bill. It gives specifically the website that you can go to and pay. They can go to any of the local banks and pay through the drive-thru except for U.S. Bank. U.S. Bank is the only one that do not take property tax payments. Now, we have added a drop box that will be placed at the back entrance of the courthouse that will say ‘Morgan County Drop Box’, and payments can be dropped there at any time.”

Geirnaeirt says that if someone absolutely has to pay cash or meet with her, they need to call and set an appointment ahead of time. They are required to wear a mask to enter the courthouse.

Geirnaeirt says that if anyone is having an issue with the calculation of their tax bill, including missing exemptions, a problem with their property assessment, or if their tax bill address is incorrect – they need to contact Allen Vogt at the Morgan County Assessor’s office at 243-8557. To set up an appointment in the Treasurer’s office to deal with further payment issues or with payment questions, contact Geirnaeirt at 243-4311.