When you own real estate or some other type of personal property, you will usually have to pay taxes on it with your local county government. If you cannot afford to pay your taxes all in a lump sum, you may want to look at the possibility of using an installment agreement.
County Tax Administration
Each county works a little bit differently when it comes to collecting property taxes. Most jurisdictions offer some type of installment agreement as well as the ability to pay your taxes in full. At some point in the year, the county will send out a tax statement that outlines your payment options. If you plan on paying in full, you will have one due date. If you want to pay with installments, you will have separate due dates for each payment.
When you receive your tax statement from the county government, it will usually have payment tabs that you can tear off for each payment of an installment agreement. When you make your payment, you will simply need to include a check or money order for the payment as well as the appropriate payment tab. You may also be able to sign up on the county's website for an online installment agreement payment plan. This can be deducted from your bank account automatically at regular intervals.
Another way that you can pay for your property taxes periodically is to use an escrow account. Most mortgage lenders regularly offer escrow accounts because they want to make sure that you pay your property taxes on time. If you lose your house to a property tax foreclosure, it will adversely affect your lender. With this type of account, your property tax payment is simply added to your mortgage payment each month. Then the escrow provider makes the payment for you at the end of the year.
Using an installment agreement to pay for your property taxes is one of the most convenient methods of doing so. If you can use an escrow account, this is the easiest way because it is only a small amount added onto your mortgage payment every month. You do not even have to worry about writing a check for the property taxes when they become due because your escrow account will handle this for you. Paying in a lump sum is often more difficult because you have to save the money on your own.