Dauphin County waives penalties for real estate taxes for 2020 amid COVID-19 crisis

Harrisburg
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HARRISBURG, Pa. (WHTM) — Dauphin County Commissioners approved a resolution that waives penalties and extends the face period for real estate taxes for 2020 only due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.

Commissioners Jeff Haste, Mike Pries and George P. Hartwick, III say payments made through Dec. 31, 2020, will be collected at the face rate, which is the payment amount that would normally be due in April or May.

All 40 municipalities within the county joined the commissioners in this effort and agreed to waive municipal tax penalties for 2020.

“We recognize that many residents and business owners are struggling financially amid the pandemic,” said Hartwick, who oversees the county’s Tax Assessment and Tax Claim offices. “Lifting penalties gives property owners an incentive to pay this year and helps our bottom line.”

The real estate tax bill is comprised of four payment periods: a 2% discount period (February/March), a face period (April/May), a 5% penalty period (June/July) and a 10% penalty period (August-December.)

Commissioners say the resolution extends the face period through the end of the year for payments received or postmarked by December 31, 2020 and waives the 5% and 10% penalties. Payments that are postmarked after December 31, 2020, will incur the 10% penalty. 

“As government leaders, we have a duty to help those who are suffering job or economic loss from the pandemic and the state’s mandatory closure of non-essential businesses,” said Haste, who chairs the Board of Commissioners. “Having across-the-board support for this effort was important for our residents and business owners.”

Questions regarding the payment of real estate taxes should be directed to the municipal tax collectors.

A list of tax collectors can be found on dauphincounty.org. The Dauphin County Treasurer’s Office is also available to offer assistance and can be reached at 717-780-6550 or treasurer@dauphinc.org

“We recognize the hardships and challenges caused by COVID-19 and Gov. Wolf’s extended stay-at-home order,” said Pries. “Giving property owners extra time to pay their county and municipal taxes without penalty can help lessen their financial burden. Every little bit helps.”

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