Time to pay!

By Jami Makan

Whatcom County Treasurer, Steven Oliver, is reminding taxpayers that “first half” property tax payments are due April 30.

Taxes must be paid or postmarked by April 30 to avoid interest and penalties. Taxes become delinquent on May 1, and interest is calculated at one percent each month on the full amount with an additional three percent penalty on amounts unpaid on June 1.

“USPS ships county mail to Seattle for processing, so do not wait until the due date to mail your payment if you want to ensure that it will receive a timely postmark,” advises Oliver.

The county accepts most credit cards. Taxes may be paid in person at the treasurer’s office, 311 Grand Avenue in Bellingham, or online. To pay taxes through an automated telephone system, call 855/461-9815.

Convenience fees may apply, including a $3.50 flat fee if using a debit card with a Visa or MasterCard logo, or 2.35 percent of taxes paid if using a credit card, with a $2 minimum fee. If paying online with an electronic check, a $1 convenience fee would apply.

If you are at least 61 years of age or retired because of a disability, own your primary residence and have income of $40,000 or less, you may be entitled to a property tax exemption. Contact the assessor’s office at 360/778-5050 for info.

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