On Saturday, I ran some errands before watching the Jets game. At one stop, the workplace of a client of mine, she bemoaned how few listings for houses have come on the market in the past six weeks or so (she’s been looking since last summer).
I remarked that in my experience, the only ones who list in December are those who get disgusted when their annual real property tax bills show up. Her co-worker chimed in to correct me, saying, “The tax bills aren’t out yet.”
I advised him that if he lived locally (he does) the bills went out from the tax offices in mid-December, and must be paid by Monday (today)! Again, he pointed out my ignorance. “The bills don’t even have to be paid until February.”
I wish he was right, but he was 100% wrong. If not paid by today, local municipalities assess a 1% penalty on the bill. As I was adamant about that, he tried another tack. “I’ll just tell them I never got it in the mail. They won’t hold me to any penalty if I never got the bill in the mail!”
Oh, yes, they will. As a homeowner, you should know when the tax bill is due, and if you don’t receive the invoice, you have to call for a duplicate or show up at the Receiver of Taxes with your checkbook in hand. Ignorance or postal incompetence is no excuse.
Otherwise, can you imagine the hordes of homeowners who’d all avoid paying real estate taxes by asserting that the bills never showed up in their mailboxes?