Chesapeake extends deadline for personal property tax bills, citing mailing delays in treasurer’s office
Chesapeake is granting residents a 25-day extension for personal property tax bills, with city staff attributing the action to issues within the city treasurer’s office.
City Manager Chris Price said in a City Council meeting this week that this is the third consecutive year an emergency action of this kind was necessary to offset delays in mailing out bills. The action comes weeks after the City Council voted to strip certain duties from City Treasurer Barbara Carraway’s office, such as managing the city’s bank accounts and investments and billing services, due to performance issues and concerns from residents.
Residents will now have until June 30 to pay their bills instead of June 5. To view and pay bills, residents can use the bill number and title number from personal property tax bills to create an account for online payment at www.CityOfChesapeake.net/BillPay.
The City Council passed a resolution unanimously Tuesday, with amendments suggested by Council member Amanda Newins, which calls for Carraway’s office to not impose any penalties or interest if the bill is paid by June 30. Newins also suggested the removal of language stating refunds for overpayment would be granted per requests from taxpayers, adding that they should be automatically processed.
But Price clarified that issuing refunds is a manual process because of the antiquated system that’s still used. He added that it’s encouraged individuals request a refund if they overpay because the council can only recommend Carraway give out refunds. He said he’s “not sure” Carraway is interested in City Council and staff suggestions on how she operates her office. As a constitutional elected officer, the council is mostly restricted from levying any demands of her office.
Price said it’s more likely Carraway would grant the refunds if residents ask for them.
Carraway could not be reached for comment. But in a staff memo about the resolution, city staff said Carraway “concurs” with the deadline extension and has indicated she’d grant refunds under these circumstances.
City staff wrote in the original resolution that the delayed billing issues were because of equipment malfunctions and ongoing delivery challenges with the U.S. Postal Service. But Newins said it’s not “appropriate” for the City Council to “take a stance on the reason why this is happening” in the resolution. She suggested such language be removed.
Price later called the mailing issue a “little bit of a red herring,” particularly because similar issues have been an ongoing problem for years now. He said most “modern” tax offices usually outsource such functions and can automatically provide refunds as well, which is something the city is now working toward for the future.
“That’s the hand we are dealt with this treasurer,” he said.
Natalie Anderson, 757-732-1133, email@example.com