Property tax deadline approaching though many cannot pay due to COVID-19
BATON ROUGE - Property taxes are coming due in the next three weeks. With many people still struggling during the pandemic, that year-end payment could be difficult to make.
Even though many people have been unemployed over the last few months, no one is doing any favors, and property taxes are still due on Dec. 31. Like many others, Donald Spears says the stress of 2020 has been difficult.
"It's just too much," Spears said. "My concern is for people who can't pay it."
Many people have been laid off or working reduced hours and relying on unemployment benefits. Like others who have reached out to 2 On Your Side, Spears says his property taxes nearly doubled this year.
"I've been living in this house since 2003, my taxes never went up," he said.
Earlier this year, the East Baton Rouge Parish Tax Assessor sent out letters notifying people of the change during an assessment year. Then, there was a 15-day window to contest the assessment. Even though that period is over, Tax Assessor Brian Wilson says if anyone thinks their assessment is incorrect his office will take another look.
The East Baton Rouge Parish Sheriff's Office is the tax collector. The sheriff's office says if property taxes are not paid by the due date and continue to not be paid after a delinquent notice is sent, the property could eventually be sold at sheriff's sale. The sheriff has no authority to waive or reduce taxes or offer an extension. More details about property taxes can be found here.
"If you can't pay your taxes you'll have to deal with the sheriff's office, who needs that extra stress on their back?" Spears said.
While Spears says he does plan to pay his taxes, he also plans on contesting his reassessment.
Property taxes are due at the end of the year and can be paid online.
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