Understanding Postmarks

AVOID PENALTIES BY UNDERSTANDING POSTMARKS

 

Property tax payments must be received, United States Postal Service (USPS) postmarked by the delinquency date to avoid penalties. Otherwise, the payment is delinquent and penalties will be imposed in accordance with State law. If the 1st installment is delinquent, a 10 percent penalty is imposed. If the 2nd installment is delinquent, a 10 percent penalty plus a $10 cost is imposed on the 2nd installment. For example, if the amount due for the 1st installment is $2,000, a 10 percent penalty of $200 will be imposed. If the amount due for the 2nd installment is $2,000, a 10 percent penalty of $200 and a $10 cost (total $210) will be imposed.

 

POSTMARKS are imprints the USPS applies to letters, flats, and parcels to reflect the date, name, state, and zip code of the USPS office that accepted custody of the mail. The postmark is generally applied, either by machine or by hand, with cancellation bars and is primarily used to prevent postage from being re-used.

 

Taxpayers who send their payments by mail are cautioned that the USPS only postmarks certain mail depending on the type of postage used. Additionally, the USPS may not postmark mail on the same day it is deposited by a taxpayer.

 

Mail that is postmarked:

 

STANDARD POSTAGE STAMPS: Stamps purchased and affixed to mail as evidence of the payment of postage.

 

Mail that is not postmarked:

 

METERED MAIL: Mail on which postage is printed directly on an envelope or label by a postage machine licensed by the USPS. Many private companies use these types of postage machines.

PRE-CANCELED STAMP: Stamps sold through a private vendor, such as stamps.com®.

AUTOMATED POSTAL CENTER (APC) STAMPS: Stamps, with or without a date, purchased from machines located within a USPS lobby.

PERMIT IMPRINT: Pre-sorted mail used by bill pay services, such as online home banking.

If you use these types of postage, the USPS will not postmark your mail. We will impose a 10 percent penalty and a $10 cost, if applicable, if we do not receive your mailed payment by the delinquency date.

 

SAFER OPTIONS:

 

Purchase a POSTAGE VALIDATED IMPRINT (PVI) Label from a USPS retail counter or window. The PVI is applied to a piece of mail by personnel at the retail counter or window when postage has been paid to mail that item. The item is retained in USPS custody and is not handed back to the customer. The date printed on the PVI label is the date of mailing.