Effective the tax year beginning April 1, 2019, the amount of interest taxpayers must pay on real estate tax not paid within thirty days after bills are made drops to 8% from the current rate of 12%. The interest rate on properties subject to a tax lien drop to 14% from 18%. This is good news for taxpayers, and long overdue. Despite the reductions, these rates still exceed the interest taxpayers receive when municipalities over-assess taxpayers due to valuation mistakes. That rate is 6%. Getting 6% on your money is not bad in a low interest rate environment, but the legislature should act swiftly to make sure it continues well above money market rates. If money market rates exceed 6%, then beleaguered taxpayers will suffer the double indignity of paying more than their fair share of taxes and losing money on the interest rate spread.
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