With first half of property tax payments due May 15, the Stevens County Board of Commissioners engaged in a discussion at their meeting on Tuesday about whether some kind of lessening of late payment fees was needed at this time, when many have been thrown out of work from the economic slowdown. Treasurer/Auditor Stephanie Buss reported that the county has already collected $5.7 million, with $1.2 million coming in over the past weekend alone. Buss said the county was on line to have a normal collection period for the first half of the year.

The Commissioners agreed that property tax payments for the second half of the year may be much harder for people to come up with. In light of this, County Coordinator Rebecca Young offered this recommendation:

“I guess at this time I would just recommend you let it ride and then let those that have a need come in and ask the board for it,” said Young.

Young noted that taxpayers already have an avenue to contact the county and let them know they are experiencing a financial hardship. The Commissioners indicated they would be willing to work with individual taxpayers on a case by case basis at this time if they need some type of tax abatement. They will most likely take some action on the issue before second half of the year payments are due.

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