Cities changing how property tax payments will be collected

NOW: Cities changing how property tax payments will be collected

MILWAUKEE (CBS 58) -- COVID-19 has changed all aspects of people's lives, including now, how many pay their taxes.

Milwaukee has made major changes to its property tax collections.

Similar to the election, Milwaukee has installed property tax drop boxes to collect payments. There's one outside city hall, and will be one in every police district office.

That's because Milwaukee will not accept property tax payments in person this year.

"That would constitute a super spreader event, on my watch, I'm not going to have a super spreader event," said Milwaukee City Treasurer Spencer Coggs.

Milwaukee property tax payments will not be accepted in person this cycle.

"Since March, the office of the city treasurer has been closed to the public and it will remain closed," said Coggs.

He said the city has added several no-contact ways to pay. Drop boxes, through the mail, and online are just a few options.

"No cash payments, please," said Coggs.

Milwaukee is not alone in making these changes. Whitefish Bay won't collect tax payments through Associated Bank this year. Racine will send out payment options to its citizens with their bills since city hall remains closed. West Allis will limit how many people can pay in person.

"We just want to keep our residents safe from COVID and also our employees, so we are definitely doing social distancing," said Deputy Treasurer Corinne Zurad.

She said West Allis will only take in-person payments between 11:30 and 4:30.

"We are strongly encouraging taxpayers to use other payment methods such as going to Tri City Bank branches in West Allis, online, mail, or our 24-hour drop box," said Zurad.

The Milwaukee Health Department said these changes in city tax collections will help battle the virus.

"Trying to find little things that we can do, that makes a big difference when trying to curb coronavirus," said Milwaukee Interim Health Commissioner Marlaina Jackson.

The first property tax installments are due at the end of January. Coggs said Milwaukee is waiving convenience fees for taxpayers who pay before Dec. 30.

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