Treating the Taxpayer Right

“Look, our job is to make government work, and to treat the public right. It’s as simple as that. It’s not always glamorous, or grand in scope. Often, it’s about fixing small but meaningful problems in the everyday interactions between people and their government. B​ut big or small, our obligation is to treat folks right."

--Supervisor Simitian

People filling out legal financial paperwork
  • ​​​​Eliminating Fees for Property Tax Assessment Appeals​ -- Acknowledging the unfairness of a taxpayer winning a property tax assessment appeal but not receiving a refund of the fee required to file the appeal, Supervisor Simitian led the Board in eliminating the fee for filing an appeal altogether.  Learn more

  •  Acceptance of Partial Payments of Property Tax Bills -- Before Supervisor Simitian urged Santa Clara County to "do the right thing," a taxpayer who paid less than the total amount owed received the payment back with a 10% penalty, plus any applicable fees and charges on the full amount of the now delinquent tax bill. The County now accepts partial property tax payments and the late fee applies only to the unpaid balance, allowing people to make progress even when they can’t pay their whole bill.  Learn more

  • Eliminating Fees for Online e-Check Property Tax Payments -- Supervisor Simitian championed removing a County-imposed fee for taxpayers paying their property taxes online with an e-check because the fee was more than the actual processing cost. The Board agreed, removing the fee entirely. The convenience of an e-check now has more taxpayers paying online, and the County avoids the cost and delay of handling paper checks, as well as the last-minute flood of deadline-driven taxpayers coming into the County office.​  Learn more

  • Property Tax Penalty Relief during the COVID-19 Crisis -- In light of the serious economic impact of the pandemic to so many residents, Supervisor Simitian proposed, along with Board President Cindy Chavez, that the County waive the 10% penalty on second installment property tax payments,  including the $20 fee for late payments, that were due on April 10, 2020.  The Santa Clara County Board approved this waiver unanimously for taxes due in April 2020.  The waiver applied to all property owners with no additional paperwork needed. ​Learn more

  • Fees Waived at Santa Clara County Parks During COVID-19 Crisis​ --  Acknowledging that small things can help during trying times, Supervisor Simitian, joined by Supervisor Mike Wasserman, suggested that the Santa Clara County Park Department waive entrance fees to County Parks for the duration of the COVID-19 shelter-at-home order. Learn more

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