Property taxpayers in King County who have not yet paid the first half of their 2020 taxes now have the option of setting up a payment plan.

The King County Council approved the new plan June 23.

Now, taxpayers affected by the COVID-19 pandemic are allowed to spread out payments over a period of up to 18 months. 

King County Executive Dow Constantine accelerated implementation of the motion, making the program immediately available to taxpayers in need.

“To help our taxpayers cope with the financial impacts of the pandemic, I’ve asked our Treasury staff to expedite the payment plan option so that it is readily available starting in July for any residential or commercial taxpayer who was not able to pay their property taxes by this year’s June 1 property tax deadline,” Constantine said in a press release.

Normally, the first half of each year’s property taxes are due on April 30.

Because of the public health emergency, however, Constantine issued an order extending the deadline to June 1 for individual property taxpayers. There were still many taxpayers who were unable to meet the new date, however.

The payment plan program will allow these taxpayers to make monthly payments to bring their account current, instead of having to pay the overdue taxes in one lump sum.

“I’m grateful to my colleagues on the Council for their support of my legislation, and to the good people at King County Treasury Operations for implementing the payment program so quickly,” said King County Council Vice Chair Reagan Dunn, the bill’s sponsor. “In a time of financial crisis for our many residents who are impacted by COVID-19, it’s good policy and fair practice for the County to shoulder a bit of their burden.”

Payment plans are available for real property homes, commercial businesses, land and mobile homes in King County.

To participate, property owners must sign an agreement with King County Treasury.

If participating owners also have a mortgage, they should notify their lender about the payment plan agreement.

The program is administered through a third-party vendor and credited to the property once the terms of the payment plan are met.

King County is waiving the $75 setup fee for qualified taxpayers, but participants will need to pay a monthly processing fee charged by the vendor.

Those taking advantage of this program will also need to pay interest of one percent each month on the outstanding amount of their tax bill, as required by state law.

Here’s an example of how the program works. A homeowner with an unpaid balance of $2,000 on their first-half property taxes can spread payments out over July, August, September,and October.

In this example, the taxpayer would pay roughly $555 per month, which includes the principal, applicable interest (based on the total annual tax bill) and processing fees. At the end of the agreement, the taxpayer would be current on their first half 2020 property taxes. The payment plan would not affect the due date for the second half of 2020 property taxes, which is still Oct. 31.

For more information on the payment plan program, go to kingcounty.gov/propertytax/paymentplans.