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Questions about Payments

- - - - - Due Dates - - - - -

When are taxes due?
First half taxes are due April 30.  Second half taxes are due October 31.  If the due date falls on a weekend, then payments will be accepted the next business day.  For additional information about your tax statement, please see Tax Statement Information.

Is a postmark acceptable, or do I have to pay in person on the due date?
You may make your payment in person or mail your payment.  An official Post Office postmark/cancellation (not a postage machine date) determines the payment date for all mailed payments.  Be advised that if you mail your payment on the due date, you might not receive that day's postmark.  You may want to have it hand canceled at your local Post Office to assure that you receive that day's postmark.  If you are sending a tax payment by air express or similar service, the Treasurer's Office will verify a 'sent date' with the carrier in the event that it is necessary.

- - - - - Method of Payment - - - - -

Can I pay my taxes with a credit card?
Yes.  Property taxes may be paid online, or by phone, with several different credit cards.  For additional information on this payment option, please see our Payment Center.

How do I sign up for Auto-Pay of taxes from my bank account?
Enrollment forms are sent out with the tax statements in February.  Complete the form and return it with your parcel number(s) and a voided check by March 15 for the first-half tax (and and all subsequent payments) and September 15 for the second-half tax.  If you enrolled previously, you do not need to enroll again.  The automatic payment of your taxes will continue until canceled.  To cancel your Auto-Pay, please contact the Treasurer's Office in writing not later than 30 days prior to the due date.  Enrollment and Cancel forms are available on our Auto-Pay web page.

- - - - - Delinquent Taxes and Foreclosure - - - - -

Can my delinquent taxes have the interest and penalty waived?
There are only two exceptions allowed under state law.  For more information, please see Tax Information.

My taxes are delinquent.  Can I pay the delinquent taxes and not pay the current year?
Yes, you may pay any delinquent year in full, with interest and penalty, without paying the current year.

Does having delinquent taxes affect my credit?
The Treasurer's Office does not provide information directly to credit reporting agencies; however, credit reporting agencies may acquire information from secondary sources with whom you have relationships (banks, mortgage companies, etc.).

My taxes are delinquent.  How long before the County will foreclose on my property?
Real property foreclosure will occur when the tax becomes three years delinquent.  The proceeding will begin the first of the year following the third year.  In Washington state, personal property has different foreclosure laws.  Any time after 30 days of delinquency, personal property becomes subject to distraint and sale (foreclosure).

When is the Tax Foreclosure Auction?
The Treasurer holds a tax foreclosure auction each year in November.  In addition, the Treasurer may hold tax-title or County surplus property auctions, which are initiated by filing an "Application to Purchase County Property" with a $150 deposit.  If the application is approved, a public auction will be held.  For a fee of $5.00 per year, the Treasurer's Office will notify you by mail of any upcoming auctions.  For additional information, please contact the Foreclosure Deputy in the Treasurer's Office.

- - - - - Other Payment Questions - - - - -

Is there an exemption available for senior citizens or disabled persons?
Yes. This program is administered by the Whatcom County Assessor's Office. Please see the Assessor's Property Tax Exemptions web page. All questions or requests for information should be directed to their office at (360) 676-6790.

Where do my tax dollars go?
Please see the Assessor's Tax Book web page. Click on the Annual Tax book for the year in question. This book provides a multitude of graphs and charts showing where the tax dollars go.

How are my taxes calculated?                                      Back to Top
Taxes are calculated every January when the levy rates are set and the tax roll is certified by the Whatcom County Assessor's Office and then turned over to the Treasurer's Office.  The levy rate varies for each taxing district depending upon the budget for each district, and any voter-approved special levies and bonds.  This levy rate is multiplied per thousand dollars of assessed value.

Example:($100,000 assessed value  $1000.00) X 15.4223 levy rate = $1,542.23

Why did my taxes go up so much this year?
Your assessed value may be higher this year due to a revaluation by the Assessor.  The tax rate in your taxing district could be higher this year due to school levies, etc.

If I don't pay my first half taxes by April 30, do I have to pay my taxes in full?
No, you may pay your first half taxes, with interest and penalty calculated on the full year´s taxes, through October 31.  However, at least half of any personal property taxes must be paid by April 30, or the entire amount becomes delinquent and payable.

I don't have enough to even pay half of my taxes.  Can I make a partial tax payment?
No.  Washington state law (RCW 84.56.020) does not allow the Treasurer to accept partial payments.                              

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