This week, Bob Hullinghorst, Treasurer for Boulder County, announced two new programs for taxpayers in mailings sent with tax notices to just over 120,000 property owners.
Under the SEED program for “Special Electronic Deposits,” taxpayers will be able to sign up for direct automatic withdrawal for either one or two payments next year. Over 500 property owners have already agreed to be in the pilot program being tested for taxes due this year.
The program was suggested to Hullinghorst by several taxpayers. According to Hullinghorst, “It is designed to save time, money, and worry in paying property taxes.”
After the pilot program this year, any taxpayer can sign up for the program in 2014 provided they have internet service and have adequate balances in their bank for tax payments. The program will not involve taxpayers who have mortgages with escrow accounts that automatically pay their property tax.
Nearly 10,000 property owners in Boulder County already use another form of electronic payment called “e-check” which requires that they go online to authorize each payment from their account.
“With the new program, you sign up once, and just like “check-o-matic,” the Treasurer’s Office will withdraw your taxes from your bank each year until you cancel,” Hullinghorst explained.
Taxpayers will still receive a tax notice (either in the mail or by email) as well as a reminder e-mail ten days before each SEED withdrawal from their bank. If the SEED payment program is successful, Hullinghorst hopes to get the legislature to authorize monthly payments.
Under current law, Colorado property owners are obligated to pay their taxes by the due dates: February 28 and June 15 for two payments, or April 30, for one payment. About 60% of all property taxes are paid by mortgage companies. Any taxpayers who do not get their tax notice because of mailing problems must call the Treasurer’s Office, at (303) 441-3520. Delinquent taxpayers must pay 1% each month they are late.
The second new program announced the this year by Hullinghorst involves the Treasurer working with the Community Foundation Serving Boulder County and the Longmont Community Foundation to help property owners wanting to make gifts or bequests of property that will benefit worthy charitable programs in Boulder County. The Treasurer calls this the SEED Fund for “Helping Grow Strong Communities.”
This year, the Boulder County Treasurer will collect nearly half a billion dollars in property taxes from businesses and homeowners to support 184 governmental entities, including schools, city services, special districts and county programs like public safety, roads, and open space. Over the past ten years, the Treasurer’s Office has invested several billion dollars with an emphasis on safety while earning over $20 million in interest.
The Treasurer’s Office has also supported programs to help taxpayers pay less in federal tax through EITC, helped county agencies become more productive using “Lean Government,” and helped promote state legislation helping seniors, servicemen, and small businesses.
Taxpayers interested in volunteering with the Treasurer’s Office to help with these initiatives are invited to call Bob Hullinghorst, Boulder County Treasurer, at (303) 441-3511.