From Illinois Business Journal news services
EDWARDSVILLE — Madison County Treasurer Kurt Prenzler has announced that real estate tax bills will be mailed at the end of the month, and a new payment option is being offered
Prenzler said the first installment will be due July 9. Subsequent installments are due Sept. 9, Oct. 9 and Dec. 9.
Approximately 135,000 tax bills, totaling more than $387.5 million for 220 taxing districts, are ready to be mailed.
“The bills should start arriving in mailboxes the first week of June,” Prenzler said.
Prenzler wants to remind property owners that Illinois law states they are still responsible for taxes even if they do not receive a bill. He said when taxpayers change an address with the U.S. Postal Service the mail is only forwarded for one year.
“It’s important for taxpayers to notify the Treasurer’s Office about any change of address,” he said.
Taxes not paid by the due date will incur the state-mandated penalty, which is 1.5 percent every 30 days.
Prenzler said this year the Treasurer’s Office is offering a new online payment system at www.madcotreasurer.org, starting June 1.
“In the time it takes to find a tax bill, taxpayers can — using the search engine — quickly find the amount they owe,” he said. “We feel this system is simpler to use.”
Prenzler said his office contracted with Autoagent, an Illinois-based company, to offer the improved online payment system.
“When taxpayers click on the ‘Pay Taxes’ tab on our site they are seamlessly transferred to the PCI Level 1 payment platform,” he said.
He said a taxpayer can search for a property using a property tax ID number (parcel ID), name or address. Taxpayers will be able to make an immediate payment using an eCheck or credit card as well as set up their four installments using the same methods.
“Before, taxpayers could only schedule payments with an eCheck,” he said. “Now they can set up installments with a credit card.”
Taxpayers can pay as a “guest” or create an account to store their financial information so it’s available for future use.
“It’s similar to how Ameren or Amazon takes payments online,” Prenzler said.
Prenzler said that taxpayers who plan to set up the four installment payments will be required to create an account and must have a valid email address.
“Taxpayers who set up their payments will receive an email a few days prior to the due date reminding them of their pending payment,” he said.
He said that if someone needs to change banking information or even stop scheduled payments they will be able to go into their account and do so at any time.
“The new online payment system gives more control to the taxpayer when it comes to updating payment information,” Prenzler said.
Payment options summary:
• Mail payments to Madison County Treasurer, P.O. Box 849 (with coupon) or P.O. Box 729 (without coupon, but with property ID written on check), Edwardsville, IL 62025.
• In person, weekdays from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. at the Madison County Administration Building, Treasurer’s Office, Suite 125, Edwardsville.
• At more than 100 collector banks or credit unions. Tax coupons required.
• Online bill pay through your bank or credit union.
• After June 1, visit www.madcotreasurer.org to pay by eCheck or credit card. A $1.50 convenience fee is applied on all eChecks and a 2.5 percent convenience fee is charged on Master Card, Visa, American Express and Discover.
For questions or more information visit www.madcotreasurer.org or contact the Treasurer’s Office at (618) 692-6260.