1. When are taxes due and when are they late?
Answer: Property taxes are due when the Treasurer has certified them. This typically happens in mid to late January of each year. The taxes are late if the first half is not paid by April 30th. If the first half is paid by April 30th, the balance owing is late if not paid by October 31st.
2. What happens if the tax due date falls on a weekend?
Answer: If the April 30th or October 31st due date falls on a Saturday or Sunday the due date then becomes the following Monday.
3. What happens if I make a payment late?
Answer: Interest of 1% per month is charged on late payments. The interest is on the full amount due, since the entire tax is late if half is not paid by 4/30. In addition, a penalty of 3% is added on June 1st and another 8% penalty is added on December 1st. Simple interest and penalty is added on the 1st of the month and it is not prorated. Although interest continues to accrue as long as the tax remains delinquent, the penalty is assessed against the current year tax only.
Personal property, except mobile homes, that are delinquent on April 30th become fully due. You no longer have the option to pay the current year first half. Real property can continue to pay the first half amount through October 30th. Personal property and mobile homes are subject to sale for non-payment as soon as taxes are late. Real property is not sold until it is a full 3 years delinquent. We charge additional costs once a property is subject to sale.
If your payment is late, it must include interest and penalty or the payment will be returned to you.
4. Do you grant extensions?
Answer: All counties are governed by the laws of the State of Washington. The law does not allow extensions due to hardship or any other extenuating circumstance.
5. How can I find taxes paid for a prior year?
Answer: First locate your property on the Property Search page then look for a link called "Installments Payable/Paid For Tax Year" about half way down the left side of the page. Enter the tax year you want information for and click on the link.
6. Why haven’t I received my statement?
Answer: You may not have updated your mailing address with us, or the statement may have been lost in the mail. We mail a tax statement to individuals who have said they are directly paying their taxes. We send a mortgage courtesy statement if you have arranged for your mortgage company to pay your taxes for you. We also send a courtesy statement if you have signed up for our automatic withdrawal plan (ACH). Both of these notices go out in February based on addresses we have as of December 31st. It is your responsibility to pay taxes even if the tax notice does not reach you. Please call us for a duplicate statement or check the balance due using our online search.
7. How can I pay using the internet?
Answer: You can pay online using an electronic check, major credit card or VISA debit card. For an electronic check payment there is a $1.00 transaction fee. Credit card payments are charged a 2.50% convenience fee of the payment amount by the vendor. For a VISA debit card payment there is a $3.95 convenience fee charged by the vendor. Please note that all convenience fees are charged whether the payment is made online or in person at the office.
8. Where can I pay my taxes in person?
Answer: You can pay using cash, money order, check, credit card or VISA debit card at one of two locations: (the same fees apply for
credit card or VISA debit card as paying using the internet).
Benton County Treasurer Benton County Treasurer
Prosser Courthouse (2nd Floor) Kennewick Annex
620 Market Street 5600 W. Canal Drive, Ste A
Prosser, WA 99350 Kennewick, WA 99336
9. Where can I mail my property tax payment?
Answer: You can mail your payment to our office at:
Benton County Treasurer
Tax Processing Center
5600 W. Canal Drive, Ste A
Kennewick, WA 99336
10. My mortgage company should pay my taxes, what should I do?
Answer: You are legally the taxpayer and we work directly with you. You have a contractual relationship with your mortgage company that does not involve our office. We do help facilitate passing along the information your mortgage company needs to make the payment. Most information exchanges with the mortgage companies take place electronically. You should have received a mortgage courtesy statement from us in mid February indicating a mortgage company was paying. If you did not receive this statement, you should contact us or check online.
It is always your responsibility to ensure taxes are paid in a timely manner. You can check the payment of taxes online to see that yours are current. We encourage you to also check online if you want a copy of your tax bill.
11. Why are you just notifying me now that my taxes have been delinquent for several years?
Answer: The office sends out a tax statement to the last known address. The statement lists current and delinquent taxes. If you did not provide a current address or the tax statement was returned as undeliverable, you may not have received the statement. It is your responsibility to keep your address current and to check if you do not receive a statement. The taxes attach to the property and remain a lien against the property not against the individual.
12. I just bought the property but the statement you sent includes past due taxes. Isn’t the previous owner responsible for the delinquent taxes?
Answer: No, taxes follow the property, not the taxpayer. The county does not foreclose on people, only the property. It is your responsibility to ascertain the status of taxes before you purchase the property.
13. I bought the house this year but never received a statement and now you show I owe delinquent taxes for last year with interest and penalty?
Answer: Benton County does not send out tax statements other than when required by law - which is at the first of the year based on ownership on December 1st of the prior year. It is your responsibility to decide how the taxes are being handled in your real estate closing and know whether the property still has taxes due for the year.
14 Is my payment on time if I mail it on April 30th for first half/October 31st for second half taxes?
Answer: Yes, a payment is on time if it is postmarked on or before the due date.
15. Why are my taxes still showing as due, even after I've paid online?
Answer: After you make a payment online, it is processed by a third party. It takes anywhere from 3 to 5 business days for our office to receive the funds and post it in our system as paid. The day payment was initiated by taxpayer, will be used as receipt date in our system.