Denver’s Department of Finance is advising residents who sent in checks to pay property taxes in early February to look and see if the city has deposited those payments, and if not, to make contact.
Several property owners who tried to pay during the first week of February have complained to the department’s Treasury Division that the checks they sent remain undeposited. The city says it has been unable to find them.
“While it is unfortunately typical for some checks to be misplaced in the mail system each year, the bulk of missing checks within this specific time frame led the Department of Finance to believe there was an error within Postal Service or bank lockbox processes,” said Julie Smith, a spokeswoman for the department.
The city has contacted both the Postal Service and its bank, but the checks remain unrecovered.
Because the department has no way of knowing which of its 220,000 property owners mailed in checks during the period in question, it doesn’t know how many people are impacted, Smith said. The number is expected to be relatively small, given that the first week of February was far ahead of the first payment deadline of Feb. 28 and the single payment deadline of April 30. Most taxpayers try to make the payment as close to the due date as they can.
Typically, the city cashes property tax checks within six weeks of receiving them in the mail. If it has been longer than that, whatever the time frame, call the city’s Tax Payer Services at 720-913-9300 for instructions.
After letting the city know about the situation, the taxpayer should reissue the check, without interest or late fees, and mail it to a special address:
- City and County of Denver
- Treasury Division
- Attn: 2/02-2/05
- 201 W. Colfax Ave, Dept 1009 MC401
- Denver, CO 80202-5330
A faster alternative is to pay online via e-check, Visa, MasterCard or Discover.
Taxpayers are encouraged to place a stop payment on the original check. Most banks charge a fee to do that and Smith said the city will not reimburse residents for any fees charged. Failing to stop payment, however, could result in a double payment being drafted if the missing checks show up. If that happens, the city will refund any excess payment.
Not notifying the city could result in the city viewing a taxpayer as late and charging additional interest, which is why impacted taxpayers should call the city.
“We recognize this is likely frustrating for property owners and apologize some people have encountered this situation. In general, mailed checks for property tax payments are cashed within 4-6 weeks after mailing,” Smith said.