Property taxes are due. Pay by check to save money

Mid-Columbia property owners have until Oct. 31 to pay off their 2018 tax bills.
Mid-Columbia property owners have until Oct. 31 to pay off their 2018 tax bills. File

The balances on property taxes for Benton and Franklin County property owners are due by Oct. 31.

For those who do not pay through mortgages or other means, property tax bills are split in two, with the first half due in the spring and the second half in the fall.

Payments may be made in person or by mail.

Taxpayers may also pay online with electronic checks, debit cards or credit cards, but that entails added fees.

For instance, Franklin County requires taxpayers to pay a 2.5 percent credit card fee if they pay that way, and convenience fees apply to other online transactions.

There is no extra charge to pay by check.

Payments received by mail must be postmarked by Oct. 31. Late payments are subject to 12 percent interest.

Benton residents can pay in person at the Prosser courthouse, 620 Market St., or the Kennewick Annex, 5600 W. Canal Drive.

Franklin residents can pay in person in the treasurer’s courthouse office, 1016 N. Fourth Ave., Pasco.

For those choosing to pay online, Benton taxes may be paid at bentoncountytax.com.

Franklin taxes may be paid at co.franklin.wa.us/treasurer.

The counties serve as tax collector for the state, which allocates revenue back to local government. Property taxes are the second largest source of tax revenue in Washington after sales and gross receipts taxes.

Benton County levied $236 million in property taxes in 2018, a 16 percent increase over the previous year, fueled partly by a new state school tax to fund education.

Franklin County levied $91 million in 2018, a 12 percent increase also driven in part by the increase for schools.

For more about how complying with the McCleary ruling on school finding raised local tax bills, read here.

Wendy Culverwell: 509-582-1514