Published on Wednesday, 30 November -0001 00:00
As the second half of 2008 property taxes become due, Stearns County has implemented a new online help tool to assist property owners with their payments. The second half of this year's real estate tax is due Oct. 15, 2008, except on agricultural property or mobile homes, which are due Nov. 15. Any payments made after this date will be charged a penalty. On Oct. 1, Stearns County will implement "live help" - or live Web site customer support. Residents can simply click on the live help button on the property tax home page of the Stearns County Web site if they have questions and a staff person from the Treasurer's office will be there to assist them. Live help allows staff to interact with citizens directly and immediately and even guide and direct them as they maneuver through the Web site to assure they successfully find what they need online. "We are really enthused to add this service for our citizens," said Auditor-Treasurer, Randy Schreifels. "We get numerous phone calls and e-mails from residents with tax payment questions; now we can be there for them live online as well. It's an easy, quick way for us to respond to their needs and questions. Not only do we believe this will be great customer service, but it should also be more efficient for us to service clients online than on the phone. Staff can handle multiple questions for multiple residents at the same time, saving time and money." Staff will be available online between 8:30 a.m.-4 p.m.
Monday through Friday. To make paying taxes more convenient for you, Stearns County has the option for you to pay your taxes over the internet on the Stearns County Web site at www.co.stearns.mn.us. You can pay online with E-Check or credit card. You can also do ACH monthly or quarterly payment plans. This spreads your payments out over either a quarterly- or 10-month period. These payments are automatically deducted from your checking or savings account. This saves time and there's no check to write. It helps you meet your commitment in a convenient and timely manner, even if you're out of town or on vacation. No lost or misplaced statements and your payments are always on time. There are no late charges. It saves on postage charges. It's easy to sign up for and easy to cancel. Call (320) 656-3870 and ask for the Direct Payment Plan. If you mail your tax payment, it must be postmarked by the post office, not a private postage meter machine, no later than Oct. 15 in order to avoid penalties. Late payments will be returned to the taxpayer, if the proper penalty is not included. State law does not allow any exceptions. Penalty rate information is shown on the reverse side of the tax statements. To ensure proper credit, return the stub portion of the tax statement along with a check or money order. Tax payments can also be made in person at either the Treasurer's Office in the Stearns County Administration Center in downtown St. Cloud at 705 Courthouse Square, Room 136 or at License Center West at 3335 West St. Germain Street, Suite 107 in St. Cloud, across the street from Wal-Mart. Offices are open Monday through Friday. The Treasurer's Office in downtown is open from 8 a.m.-
4:30 p.m. License Center West is open until 5:30 p.m. and Saturday mornings from 9 a.m-noon and only accepts current year payments. If you have any questions, call the Treasurer's Department at (320) 656-3870 or e-mail