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Burnet County waives penalties for late tax payments caused by storm

Damon Beierle and James Oakley

Burnet County Judge James Oakley (right) explains that taxpayers who acted in good faith should have late fees on property tax payments waived if they were affected by Winter Storm Mara. Staff photo by Dakota Morrissiey

Burnet County is waiving penalties and interest fees on late property tax payments due to postal service interruptions and office closures caused by Winter Storm Mara. The Commissioners Court made the decision during its regular meeting on Tuesday, Feb. 28.

All mail-in tax payments postmarked through Feb. 7 and walk-in payments made through Feb. 3 will not incur late fees or interest. This will impact about 254 taxpayers who reported problems with paying on time due to the storm, which struck the Highland Lakes in late January and early February. Payments were due Jan. 31.

“I put this on the agenda because we got a lot of requests,” said Burnet County Judge James Oakley. “I thought by taking the lead on this, maybe there might be some consistency among the other taxing entities.”

The decision only affects Burnet County government-issued penalties and fees, not those from entities such as school districts and emergency services districts.

Most of the late payments were due to mail service interruptions, which led to incorrect postmarks and late arrivals. Also, Burnet Central Appraisal District officers were closed on Feb. 1 during the storm, which most likely prevented some walk-in payments. 

“In my opinion, (waiving fees) was the right thing to do,” Oakley told “People were acting in good faith. They put their check in the mail, there were some problems with the mail system, and at the end of the day, we’re all human.”