AP NEWS

New plan a real plus for property taxpayers

January 2, 2019

Last year, an elderly woman tried to pay $1,200 toward the $1,600 property tax bill she owed.

But the attempt was thwarted because the rules then in place didn’t allow for the Kankakee County Treasurer’s Office to accept the partial payment.

The woman’s property eventually went up for tax sale, and to get it back, she had to pay a steep price — the whole $1,600, along with 18 percent interest.

County treasurer Nick Africano shared that story last week as he explained the benefits of the new Choices Tax Payment Program his office has introduced.

It will let tax payments be made daily, weekly, monthly or any other schedule taxpayers select.

The only caveat is that half of a person’s taxes must be paid by the first installment date, and the entire amount must be paid by the second one.

Now, if it were a perfect world, every taxpayer would always have the amount of money needed to pay their bill in full just as soon as it arrived the mail.

But we live in the real world, and in that world, $1,600 is a whole lot of money for most people. For that matter, so is $1,200.

The ability to pay tax bills in increments surely will be helpful to many, including the elderly woman mentioned previously.

If she only has $1,200 to initially put toward her bill this year and can’t immediately come up with the rest, she only would have to pay interest on $400 rather than $1,600.

It’s a fine plan for anyone on a fixed income, and really anyone who wants to stay within their budget while also honoring their debts.

We applaud it.

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