Understanding Postmarks to Avoid Penalties

Property tax payments must be received or postmarked by the delinquency date to avoid penalties. If a payment is received after the delinquency date with no postmark, the payment shall be considered late and, in accordance with State law, penalties will be imposed.

What are Postmarks?

Postmarks are imprints on envelopes, flats, and parcels that show the name of the United States Postal Service (USPS) office that accepted custody of the mail, along with the state, zip code, and the date of mailing. The postmark is generally applied, either by machine or by hand, with cancellation bars to indicate that the postage cannot be reused.

Taxpayers who send their payments by mail are cautioned that the USPS only postmarks certain mail depending on the type of postage used, and may not postmark mail on the same day deposited into a receptacle. Postmarks are evidence of the date mailed.

Warning! Postage That Is Not Postmarked

There are multiple kinds of postage that is not postmarked to be aware of:

  • Metered Mail: Mail on which postage is printed directly on an envelope or label by a postage machine licensed by the USPS.
  • Pre-Canceled Stamp: Stamps sold through a private vendor, such as stamps.com®.
  • "Forever" Stamps: May not be postmarked.
  • Automated Postal Center (APC) Stamps: Stamps, with or without a date, purchased from machines located within USPS.
  • Permit Imprint: Pre-sorted mail used by bill pay services, such as online home banking.

Other Options

Purchase and complete a Certificate of Mailing from the USPS, which is a receipt that provides evidence of the date that your mail was presented to the USPS for mailing. It can only be purchased at the time of mailing through the USPS. The USPS charges a small fee for this service.

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.

Save Money, Save Time, Pay Online! (Go Green)

There is no reason to write a check, hunt for stamps, or travel to a mailbox. You do not have to worry about mail delays, snow, or post office closures when you pay online.

How to Pay Your Property Tax Bill Online