gmhTODAY 25 gmhTODAY April May 2019 - Page 72

County Update With Santa Clara County Supervisor Mike Wasserman Supervisor Mike Wasserman was elected to the Santa Clara County Board of Supervisors in November, 2010, and re-elected in 2014. He represents District 1, which includes Gilroy, San Martin, Morgan Hill, Los Gatos, Monte Sereno and portions of San Jose ( Property Taxes Pay for Schools, Libraries, City and County Services O ne of the largest expenses homeowners and businesses pay each year are their property taxes, payable to the County of Santa Clara. So, it is logical that many people wonder “What do I get for this large sum? Where does it go? I don’t even use County services, so what is the County government doing with my money?” These are some of the questions I hear as County Supervisor and as someone who also writes those big checks twice yearly too, I’m happy to help shed some light on this. Myth #4: Secured property taxes are due December 10 and April 10. Unfortunately, some people confl ate “due date” with “delinquent date” and fail to pay their property taxes on time, resulting in costly fi nes. The fi rst installment of secured property taxes is due November 1 and is delinquent on December 10 at 5 pm. The second installment of secured property taxes is due February 1 and is delinquent on April 10 at 5pm. Myth #1: Property taxes collected by the County are all used by the County. Only 18% of the money collected by the County in property tax revenue stays with the County. The majority is sent on to the State for K-12 Education (44%), and 38% goes to fund Cities, Special Districts, Community Colleges and the Redevelopment Property Tax Trust Fund. Myth #2: Renters don’t pay property taxes. While landlords (not tenants) are responsible for paying property taxes, residential and commercial properties can be rented with leases that include property tax in the rent, thus passing on the tax to tenants. Myth #3: I don’t use County services. Everyone uses County services. While I hope that most readers don’t need services from the District Attorney, Sheriff, Adult and Child Protection Services, each of you benefi ts from County services every day. County Roads and Expressways, restaurant health inspections, gas pump inspections, County Parks, Gilroy and Morgan Hill Libraries, Animal Shelter Services, Vector Control, Valley Medical Center and Health Clinics are a few of the many County services paid for by the County’s 18% of your property tax dollars. 72 GILROY • MORGAN HILL • SAN MARTIN My colleagues and I on the County Board of Supervisors have been making improvements to the process of paying property taxes over the past several years. Partial Property Tax Payments, are now allowed, giving property owners the option of making partial payments for their property taxes without being penalized. In the past, property tax install- ments had to be paid in full in order to avoid costly fines. We also recently launched a New App for Paying Property Taxes -- SCC DTAC -- which provides more than 500,000 property owners with convenient access to pay annual secured property tax payments. More information about the benefits of the app is available at Property owners who would like more information about paying their taxes in general can contact the Department of Tax and Collections Tax Information Unit at (408) 808-7900 or april/may 2019