Property owners in Kent will begin accumulating interest on delinquent property taxes beginning October 1 — ending a forgiveness program that began in March to deal with the economic fallout from the COVID-19 pandemic.
Commissioners Tom Mason and Bob Jacob approved Commissioner Ron Fithian’s motion to give the public access to the finance office at 400 High Street in anticipation of a wave of taxpayers wanting to avoid the interest charges.
Fithian said there was protective plexiglass now in place at the finance office and a security guard at the door to control the flow of people coming in the building — and enforce the face covering requirement in Gov. Larry Hogan’s executive order.
“Oct. 1 is when we should take the step in doing what the rest of the world is doing,” Fithian said. He said if you can now go to the courthouse and buy a trader’s license you should be able to pay your taxes in person.
Fithian said Kent Emergency Services Director Wayne Darrell could devise a plan to get people through the building safely.
In addition to paying property taxes, the finance office will also take water and sewer payments and any other fees normally accepted at the finance office EXCEPT, vehicle registration renewal. In a separate motion the commissioners voted to do away with accepting MVA payments in order to reduce foot traffic in the county office.
Kent Chief Finance Officer Pat Merritt said the fees collected from registration renewals don’t pay for the cost to administer the service and results in about 2,000 visits to the finance office each year.
In a separate motion the commissioners approved allowing members of the press to begin attending commissioners’ meetings starting the first meeting in October. The Sept. 22 meeting has been cancelled and the next meeting is scheduled for Sept.29
On Thursday Kent County published additional methods to pay property taxes and fees if taxpayers want to avoid paying in person.
Personal checks, money orders or cashier’s checks made payable to the County Commissioners of Kent County can be mailed to:
Office of Finance
400 High Street
Chestertown, MD 21620
SECURE DROP BOX at Rear Entrance at 400 High St.
Payments can be deposited in our secure drop box located at 400 High Street, Chestertown. The blue drop box is located at the back of the building, adjacent to the parking lot, next to the handicap parking.
Receipts can be provided by:
- mail – include a self- addressed stamped envelope with your payment
- email – include your email address with your payment
Credit and debit card payments can be made at: https://paylocalgov.com/Payment/SelectEntity/178
Credit and debit card payments can be made by calling: 888-877-0450
Use option 3 and be prepared to provide your account number, billing address, and payment amount.
Service fees for telephone and online payments are charged by our credit card processing company: debit cards – 1.5%, credit cards – 2.7%, e-check – $1.95
Questions can be directed to the Office of Finance at 410-778-7478.