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When can the additional penalty for attorney fees be added?

Taxes that become delinquent on or after Feb. 1, but no later than May 1, and remain delinquent on July 1 of the tax year incur the additional penalty for attorney fees of up to 15 percent. The taxing unit must contract with an attorney to collect delinquent taxes. The tax collector must mail the delinquent taxpayer a notice that the additional penalty will be added July 1. The collector sends the notice no earlier than 30 and no more than 60 days from July 1 – during the month of May. The attorney will pursue collection of the taxes through legal proceedings, if necessary.

Also, the collector that has a contract with an attorney may add the 15 percent penalty to taxes that become delinquent on or after June 1. The delinquent taxes include those under the split payment option, installment payments for over 65 or disabled persons, or taxes on late mailed bills that have a later delinquency date than Feb. 1. The penalty attaches the first day of the first month that begins at least 21 days after the date a notice of delinquency and penalty is sent to the property owner.

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