Property owners must still pay their property taxes by April 10, according to Santa Barbara County Treasurer-Tax Collector Harry Hagen

Despite the crippling economic effects of the coronavirus, Hagen said he does not have the authority to extend the payment delinquency date past April 10, and all payments after that date will be “assessed late penalties and costs as required by law.”

In one small nod to property owners, Hagen’s office will consider written requests for penalty cancellations on a case-by-case basis.

The catch, however, is that property owners cannot ask for a pre-approval of a late payment. April 10 must come and go before they make the written request. 

“Property owners who can pay their property taxes on time are encouraged to do so,” the county stated in a press release. “Property taxes are a critical source of revenue that helps keep the government running and provides vital services the public relies on, including emergency response, public health, public works, and schools.”

James Fenkner, who owns a vacation rental, has launched a petition urging the state of California to delay property-tax payments. 

“Everything has been pushed back except property taxes,” Fenkner told Noozhawk. “It is putting a squeeze on an unpopular group, property owners.”

Fenkner said the situation is an “emergency” and that the government should treat everyone equally. 

He said that property owners depend on rental payments to pay their property taxes and the county will lose a larger portion of its tax base if property owners are forced to sell at fire sale proces because they can’t make tax payments. 

“It would blow up our commercial and rental property tax markets and there goes the tax base for the future,” Fenkner said.

Fenkner said any temporary local government shortfall from the lack of paying property taxes could be funded by short-term California bonds. 

“It cannot be solved at the local level,” Fenkner. “It absolutely needs to be the state.”

The Cancellation of Penalty form will be available after April 10 on the treasurer-tax collector’s web site. The county is encouraging remote payments to support social distancing.

The treasurer-tax collector public counters will be open 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday, 105 E Anapamu St., Room 109 in Santa Barbara; and in Santa Maria at 511 E Lakeside Pkwy. 

Payments can be made by the following methods:

Online and Phone: Payments may be made online at with a credit card (Visa, Mastercard, American Express, Discover), electronic check, or by phone at
805.724.3008 or Toll Free 877.399-8089. The TTC does not charge a fee for submitting via electronic check, however the credit card processor will charge a convenience fee for credit card transactions.

USPS Postmarked Mail:  Payments should be remitted to P.O. Box 579, Santa Barbara, CA 93102-0579. Check, cashier’s checks and money orders are accepted. A U.S. Postal Service cancellation mark of April 10, 2020, or prior will be timely.

Noozhawk staff writer Joshua Molina can be reached at Follow Noozhawk on Twitter: @noozhawk, @NoozhawkNews and @NoozhawkBiz. Connect with Noozhawk on Facebook.