Twin Cities Counties Consider Tax Penalty Reprieve

Property taxes are due next month for Minneapolis and St Paul duplex owners.

While this is always painful, paying taxes during a time when many tenants are expected to be challenged to make rent payments makes it especially tough.

In an effort to help, last week the Hennepin County board gave tentative approval to not charging a penalty if the first -half property taxes are paid late.

At this point, this is just an approval and not yet a policy. If passed, it would allow property owners to pay taxes by July 15 rather than the current May 15 deadline. The waiver would not apply to those who escrow taxes as part of their mortgage payment or those who owe more than $100,000.

Ramsey County has not yet weighed in on their position on late property tax payments.

Unfortunately, only the state of Minnesota can change the date in its entirety. The only thing the counties have control over are penalty fees.

Late payments don’t come without consequences to the counties, however. St. Paul’s interim finance director John McCarthy anticipates significant delays in property tax payments may result in the city having cash flow challenges in June or July.

Hennepin County, meanwhile, has just $2 million of their $10 million annual emergency fund left.

In other words, if you have the money, pay your property taxes. A loss in cash flow to the counties results in a reduction of services to all.