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Kennedy : More than $90 million in taxes collected and distributed

“Over ninety million dollars in property tax payments was collected and posted from the Dec. 10 property tax deadline”, said Tracy Kennedy, Madera County treasurer-tax collector.

All payments were posted and balanced by Friday, Dec. 14.

“That’s amazing,” said Kennedy, “given that county offices were closed on Dec. 5 as a ‘day of mourning’ as a federal holiday for President Bush’s funeral. We had lost an entire day in the middle of our collection deadline, but my staff took it in stride and handled heavy volume in both mail and in walk-in taxpayers. Our phone lines rang nonstop nine hours a day!” she said.

“We are used to heavy traffic during this time of year, but this year seemed particularly busy. Staff did excellent, I’m very proud of them!

“To answer that volume of phone calls and wait on literally hundreds of taxpayers day after day, and never skip a beat, now that’s customer service at its best. I’m really humbled at how well they all worked together,” said Kennedy.

“As is typical, most of our payments, over 41 percent, about 5,894 parcels, are made by mail, another 26 percent are paid through their mortgage companies, and about 33 percent paid with credit cards, E-Checks, online bank checks or at our front counter.

“We are really promoting that taxpayers pay their taxes via E-Checks. They are free and convenient and are posted in real time, so taxpayers can view their account and print a receipt for themselves to save for their records! It’s really a nice feature and best of all it is free to the taxpayers.

“Credit cards have a handling fee charged by our third-party vendor who administers our credit card program…so E-Checks are the way to go.”

Most payments were for the first installment, but 14,075 taxpayers paid both installments.

The property tax payments, once apportioned, in part, support the functions of the county school districts, the cities of Madera and Chowchilla and special districts. Only about 15 percent goes to the county of Madera for its operations.

The next tax deadline is April 10. All payments must be postmarked by April 10, 2019, to avoid penalties.

“We will be sending out reminder notices soon to those taxpayers that may have overlooked their tax payments.”

Taxpayers can verify that their payments were posted to their account on the treasurer’s website: Just log in and follow the prompts for “Paying your taxes” and your entire tax bill will be revealed together with your payment information.

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