County Board approves waiving late fee on property taxes for those financially hurt by Covid-19

Having trouble viewing this email? View it as a Web page.

 Administration • 100 North Fifth Avenue West, Room 202 • Duluth, MN 55802

Phone: (218) 726-2450 •

Kevin Z. Gray
County Administrator



May 12, 2020

MEDIA CONTACT: Dana Kazel, Communications Manager

218-725-5049 (office) • 218-591-2219 (cell)


St. Louis County Board approves waiving late fee on property taxes for those financially hurt by Covid-19

The St. Louis County Board has approved waiving the late fee for two months for people struggling to pay property taxes due to the financial impact of COVID-19. To be eligible, people must fill out a brief application, which can be downloaded from the county website at The deadline to apply for forgiveness of the late fee is May 31. Anyone granted the abatement then has until July 15 to pay their property taxes for the first half of the year.


In her comments to commissioners, County Auditor Nancy Nilsen noted that St. Louis County residents typically have a high rate of paying property taxes on time, but that this is an unprecedented situation. 


"The only thing state statute allows us to do is waive penalties for late payments and that is what this resolution does," said Nilsen. "Tax payers do not have to wait until July 15 to pay their first half property taxes, however. In fact, I suggest people send in payments as they have the money to pay, so that it is not overwhelming for them come July 15."


The Auditor's Office has been closely monitoring the amount of payments as they've come in in recent weeks, to gauge if this abatement would be possible. Property tax payments help fund not only the county's operating costs, but also those of all cities and townships, school districts and other taxing authorities within the county. Most of those jurisdictions indicated that they would be able to continue operating if at least half of payments came in on time and the rest were paid by July 15.


Nilsen noted that payments received to date have now surpassed that 50% benchmark and said, "It is now safe to say, we can move forward with providing some relief to those that need it most in our community."


Commissioners voted unanimously in favor of the resolution. 


This abatement does not apply to properties where tax payments are already in escrow, properties that are classified as Utility, or for properties that have had a delinquent property tax payment within the last 10 years. In addition, no refunds will be given for property taxes already paid.


Completed applications can be submitted by email, mail, fax or via the secure drop boxes outside the courthouse in Duluth, the Auditor's Service Center at the Miller Hill Mall, and the Government Services Center in Virginia. Property tax payments can also be dropped off at these three locations. For more information on property taxes and payment options, visit