Spokane Co. property tax deadline pushed back to December, late fees waived

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SPOKANE, Wash. — Spokane County’s fall property tax deadline has been pushed back to December, and all late fees have been waived until 2021.

This extension was authorized by Spokane County Treasurer Michael Baumgartner due to school closures and the need for taxpayer relief, according to the Treasurer’s Office. Baumgartner previously authorized an extension through mid-June, reportedly the longest blanket extension in state history.

Taxes were originally due in October.

“School closures will cause significant economic hardship for many Spokane County families,” said Baumgartner. “Parents and taxpayers are rightfully frustrated they aren’t getting what they paid for with their public education dollars. Since a big part of property tax bills pay for schools, it only makes sense to grant an extension. This extension is available to nearly everyone, but I am particularly hopeful that it will be helpful to to those who need help with increased out of pocket education spending with schools closed.”

The Treasurer cannot eliminate or cut property taxes, but Baumgartner says he has the authority to extend deadlines for bills and late fees.

According to the Treasurer’s Office, 55-percent of tax bill revenue goes to education spending. With schools opting out of in-person learning this fall, Baumgartner says his office has received countless calls asking if those correlating property taxes will be similarly reduced.

“Our financial team has a good plan in place,” said Baumgartner. “We are again estimating that there will be a reduction in the amount of taxes paid due to economic conditions surrounding the pandemic, but are confident that government’s bills will continue to be paid on time.”

This tax extension only affects 2020 property taxes in Spokane County. According to the Treasurer’s Office, the county’s property tax roll was $658 million this year. Of that, the county has collected around 53-percent, or $359 million. The county must still collect $313 million.