Decatur Emergency Order extends grace period for paying property taxes

Early Friday evening (March 27) Decatur Mayor Patti Garrett issued her third emergency order in 10 days, this one extending the grace period for paying 2020’s first installment of the city’s property taxes.

Decatur property taxes get mailed out this week and the deadline is typically June 1. But with the order’s extension, “no penalties and interest will be applied” if residents pay by July 15, 2020.

Put another way: the ad valorem taxes and fees normally due June 1, 2020, carry an interest rate of .646 percent per month. But these won’t be applied to the principal until after July 15.

The U.S. Internal Revenue Service and Georgia Department of Revenue have already extended their income tax filing deadlines to July 15, 2020.

“We know families and businesses are struggling financially while also being concerned about their health and the health of their loved ones,” Garrett said in a press release. “This extension will provide property owners some extra time to make this payment.”

The order points out that property taxes help pay for the city continuing to provide emergency response and other “essential” city services along with City Schools of Decatur’s implementing online education during the pandemic crisis.