What is a due date?
From the Maricopa County (Arizona) assessor's site:
First half taxes are due
Wednesday, October 01,
2014, and delinquent after
Monday, November 03,
2014. If you miss the first
half payment date you may
pay the full year amount by
December 31 without
So my taxes are due on October 01, but if I don't pay them until November 03, they're not delinquent. And if I pay them by December 31, it doesn't cost me anything extra: no fine, no interest, no "please attach a note explaining why you didn't pay by the due date and we'll waive any additional charges", no "you'll get a cheerful but sternly-worded letter reminding you that you really need to pay this".
So what exactly is the definition of a "due date" here?
"You're legally supposed to pay by x. Out of the graces of our hearts, we won't get angry until y. But we aren't allowed to start charging you until z"
Given local government efficiency, it probably takes them until date y to do the full reconciliation, and date z was added by a politico who really wanted to be reelected.
That's when your taxes are going to give birth.
Well, your first half payment is due by October 01 (and delinquent after November 03) if you only want to pay the first half.
If you do not want to pay your first half by November 03, you can also pay your full year amount by December 31. I expect that you will get a sternly-worded letter about the missing first half if you did not pay your full amount by the end of the year.
Or am I TRWTF here for reading it that way?
Oh, right, good spotting, and I expect that if you don't pay your full year amount by the final date, you will be charged interest on the first half starting from either the first or the second date.
Betcha you'll find that those dates roll over at 8:00am or 9:00am, not midnight, as well.
No, that's pretty much it. To make it easier to pay property taxes, Maricopa County splits the annual amount into two payments: the first due in October, and the second due in April. With each payment, you get a one month grace period before interest starts accruing. This is probably because they need that much time to determine who has delinquint payments.
If you miss the one month grace period for the October payment, you can get the interest waived by paying both the October and April amounts by the December deadline. I can think of a few reasons why they might do this, but I'm on mobile so I won't list them.
It sounds like you're new to Maricopa County, or at least owning real estate in Maricopa County. Move here recently?
No, but it's only in the last few years that I refinanced a mortgage and didn't get an escrow arrangement to handle the property tax payments.
I think @Buddy nailed it. The "delinquent after" date is when you have to pay to keep them from adding interest, and the "due date" is where they calculate the interest from.