King County offers payment plan for overdue property taxes

Rattlesnake Ledge in North Bend, WA is busy with hikers on Sunday, Mar. 22, 2020. Local officials have urged residents to stay inside or to stay six feet away from each other when outside to prevent the spread of COVID-19.

More financial aid is coming to King County property taxpayers affected by COVID-19.

In June, the Metropolitan King County Council approved a new form of property tax relief that gives the county treasurer the task of designing and implementing a payment plan for 2020 property taxes. Once it’s in place, the treasurer will offer a payment plan to those who are delinquent on the first-half tax bill. The goal is to help property taxpayers who are suffering financial hardship specifically caused by the pandemic.

“I believe it’s an act of leadership for the county to shoulder a share the financial burden that many of its residents are struggling with during the COVID-19 pandemic,” said Councilman Reagan Dunn, who sponsored legislation behind the change. “This is good policy that offers a little leniency to folks who are stretched thin and not able to pay their bills.”

On March 30, King County extended the due date for the first half of 2020 property taxes from April 30 to June 1. Since then, economic activity in the county has plummeted and the unemployment rate has reached 15.8 percent, according to the state Employment Security Department. As of June 11, 46,000 King County property taxpayers were delinquent on their 2020 payments, which amounts to a 28 percent increase from 2019.