Importance of Paying Property Taxes

The Importance of Paying Your Property Taxes

The first half of real estate taxes is due on May 15th. So what happens to your taxes after you
drop that payment in the mail? The tax amount you pay is partially based upon the levy needed to
operate the county, your city or township, your school district, and the watershed within your
community. All tax that we collect through May 31st is paid out to these taxing entities by the end of
June. They in turn use these funds for their operating expenses.

The next payment to these entities doesn’t come until November, after the second half due dates of October 15th and November 15th. Therefore, what they receive in June must last these entities almost through the entire rest of the year. This process isn’t Sibley County specific; rather it is the process for all of Minnesota. So, in these trying times, paying your property taxes on time ensures the financial health of your community.

So what happens if you aren’t able to make your full payment by May 15th?

First off, Sibley County takes partial payments. These can be made as frequently as you would like. Payments are accepted in a variety of ways. Payments can be made on-line through www.co.sibley.mn.us. Credit card or e-check payments can also be made over the phone (507-237-4070).

In light of the COVID-19 pandemic, our doors are not open for customers, but our drop box on the west side of the courthouse has been an option for years. Some residents participate in our direct payment plan so they will never forget a payment! People enrolled in this plan have their tax payment automatically debited from their account on the due date. But, most commonly, our citizens mail in their tax payments, including their tax statement stubs with a postmark of May 15th or earlier. If May 16th rolls around and you weren’t able to pay the full amount due by the 15th, penalty starts accruing. Over the next several months, depending upon the classification of your property, that penalty amount will top out at 14%. Hence, it is financially prudent to pay all, or as much as you can, of your first half tax bill by May 15th.

Waiver of Penalty Due to COVID-19

At their April 28th meeting, the Sibley County Commissioners approved a property tax hardship
penalty waiver process due to COVID-19. The goal is to help property owners where the household
primary wage earner has been laid off from work and business owners that were ordered to close or
drastically alter their business by Governor Walz. These qualifying residents and business owners may
have late penalties waived until July 1st, 2020, for property taxes due on May 15th. The waiver does not
change the amount of property tax that is due; your property tax statements still reflect the accurate
amount of tax that you need to pay, but it can waive the penalty that will accrue. All property owners
interested in this penalty waiver must complete an application and submit it, along with supporting
documentation, to the Sibley County Auditor-Treasurer to be considered. If you feel you meet the above criteria, and are not able to pay your property taxes that are due May 15th, please access the application by going to www.co.sibley.mn.us, emailing SCTreasurer@co.sibley.mn.us, or calling 507-237-4070.