If you purchased your property this year, you’ll start to see your county tax bill come in around the end of October and the beginning of November. While those taxes aren't officially due until the end of March of the following year, the county tax collector gives owners who pay their property taxes early a discount. There is a four percent (4%) discount if your payment is received by November 30th; a three percent (3%) discount if received by December 31st; a two percent (2%) discount if received by January 31st; and a one percent (1%) discount if received by February 28th.
If you took out a loan when purchasing your property and your lender required an escrow hold for taxes and insurance, they will take care of paying your taxes for you. However, when you receive your tax bill, you should forward a copy to your lender with a cover letter stating that you’d like them to pay the taxes before the end of November in order to take advantage of the discount. Remember, after the taxes have been paid, most lenders review the amount they are holding along with the monthly amount that they are collecting from you to ensure that they will have enough funds to cover the taxes in the following year. If they determine that they have collected too much money, they will send you a check for the overage. So, ensuring that your lender pays the taxes in November could ensure that you get a bigger check back.
Also, if you purchased your property this year, look at your closing statement and see if enough funds were collected at closing in order to cover the taxes. Most closings that take place during the year happen before the tax bill is ready. As such, the title company will estimate the taxes based on the prior year’s tax amount and at closing have buyers and sellers have signed a tax re-proration agreement stating that if the estimated taxes collected were incorrect the parties could request that the taxes be re-prorated. Look through your paperwork – are you entitled to an additional credit on the property taxes? Did you and your seller sign the re-proration agreement?