TAMPA — Hillsborough County residents will be able to pay their property tax bills in installments next year if they are having trouble coming up with a lump sum payment.
The state Legislature made that a possibility during the last legislative session, but gave county tax collectors the option of doing it. Hillsborough Tax Collector Doug Belden announced Monday he would follow the Legislature's lead.
Belden said it's just one more way to help families struggling in trying financial times.
There are some restrictions. But essentially, property owners will be able to pay their bill over about six months from when they receive a bill, from November until April 1, 2010.
After April 1, a late fee will apply. There are a couple of key restrictions and caveats:
• Each payment must be at least $100.
• There's a $10 processing fee for each individual payment.
• The program does not apply to delinquent tax bills.
• You'll lose the discount you get for early payment.
As an alternative, if you don't want to lose that discount, there is a separate quarterly payment plan available through the tax collector, but property owners must be pre-approved.
For more information, visit www.hillstax.org.