Tax deadline extended to January

Published 8:00 am Thursday, November 30, 2023

If you are a taxpayer in Charlotte County, you may have received your tax bill just this week, which is usually due next month.

If you are scrambling to find the funds, you are in luck, as payment deadlines have been extended to Jan. 5.

By resolution of the Charlotte County Board of Supervisors this month, an extension was granted to pay the taxes due Dec. 5, without late charges, to Jan.5, 2024.

According to Treasurer Patricia Berkeley, due to several issues related to the statement process, the tax statements were behind schedule in this billing cycle. 

Berkeley said the county tax statements had been submitted to the printers and were scheduled to be mailed by Nov. 17.

Berkeley said while she hoped to let the citizens know sooner, she couldn’t determine a date to extend the deadline until the statements were finalized. 

“The statement process for my office involves a few things,” Berkeley said. “I start the statement process once I receive the books and I like to have at least a week to process transactions and the printers have a week turnaround once the proofs are finalized.”

According to Berkeley, solar credits this year, prepayments, glitches in the system and new printing software have all caused a delay. 

Berkeley added that she addressed the BOS in October, notifying them that tax bills could be delayed due to the issues and her not wanting to rush through tasks.

“This year, we had the solar credits. As a result of the error that occurred with the solar credits on the fiscal year 2023 billing, we needed to make the corrections and do the credits for fiscal year 2023/2024.” Berkeley said. “We couldn’t do the credits the same way as last year. We had to export several files to create the solar import file for each fiscal year and test the imports in our test directory. We had an issue with this process. It was resolved and we were able to import the credits. Once these were completed, we moved on to our typical steps.” 

Next came over $200,000 in prepayments, which took time to process. 

“A portion of these prepayments are part of the budget billing program,” Berkeley said. “This program is offered as a courtesy to the citizens and this year we had a “bug” in the apply prepaid process. This was corrected but set us back a couple of days. 

Then, we have to create the files to send to the printers. I had an error when creating the personal property files. This was quickly resolved. Then we had to import the solar credits to the end of the real estate statement file so the verbiage would be shown on the bills. In doing all of these processes, you need to review and verify. This takes time.” 

Berkeley continued explaining that the printers stated the county would have to convert to their new system to do the solar credits verbiage as requested. 

“We started this process in September and they decided to hold off on completing the conversion so we would not be delayed,” she said. “I apologize to the citizens for any confusion and any inconvenience. I worked diligently with my staff to get these statements out in a timely manner.” 

While most taxpayers need to have their bill paid by Jan. 5, Berkeley reminds those individuals who itemize their income taxes they will need to pay the taxes by the last business day of the month in order to use the tax amount when filing in April.