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Locals rush to pay property tax ahead of new reform bill

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OROVILLE, Calif. - The Butte County Tax Collector's office saw a spike in traffic Thursday, along with thousands of tax offices across California. Many are scrambling to take advantage of a tax break on property that will soon expire.

After the tax reform bill takes effect on the first of January, there will be a $10,000 annual cap on the deductions of state and local taxes, including property taxes. 

Thursday, the Collector's office in Butte County saw about 150 people, even though the second installment of property taxes isn't due until April and the first was due earlier this month.

Treasurer-Tax Collector Peggy Moak said roughly an additional one percent to the usual 16 percent of tax payers decided to pay this second installment early this year. They're doing so to enhance their opportunities for 2017 tax deductibility.

The IRS said property taxes that have not been paid before the new year will not be deductible in 2017.

Moak said even the people coming in early might not save on their taxes. "They're not really sure whether it's going to benefit them or not because many tax advisors are not necessarily available at a second's notice the last couple of days in the year," Moak explained. "So I think that they're just trying to make sure that they're taking advantage of any opportunity to enhance their tax filing status and deductibility for next year."

While locals are still welcome to go into the office as early as 8 a.m. Friday, Moak encourages anyone wanting to pay this second installment to do so online by clicking here.

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