Property Tax Relief?

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Property taxes are due April 10. With hotels, restaurants, nightclubs, bars, theaters, wine and beer tasting rooms shut down and non-essential other business closed, does the county really need 100 percent of the property taxes due on April 10? Tens of thousands of our fellow citizens are unemployed. Even with essential businesses like grocery stores open, some of those employees’ hours are reduced due to reduced store hours.

Both the federal and state have deferred tax payments from April 15to July 15without penalties or interest. We all understand that the county can’t print money or borrow the way the federal government can and the county does not have the state’s $15 billion tax surplus. But, and it is a big “but,” does the county need 100 percent of the property taxes due on April 10? If not, then the county should follow the federal and state governments and defer some or all of the April 10property taxes without penalties or interest to later in the year. Hopefully by then our fellow citizens and businesses will be back at work and have the cash to pay their taxes.

Editor’s Note: We asked the county this question, and Treasurer-Tax Collector Harry Hagen stated: “Neither the Board of Supervisors nor the Treasurer-Tax Collector has authority to modify the property tax delinquency date. Only the State has the authority to extend it. However, given the current circumstances, the Treasurer-Tax Collector is prepared to cancel penalties related to the COVID-19 pandemic or any other valid statutory reason after the delinquency date.”

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