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Town of West Hartford Offers COVID-19 Property Tax Relief Programs

West Hartford Town Hall. Photo credit: Ronni Newton

Measures previously enacted by the Town Council to provide relief to eligible taxpayers impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic have been extended in West Hartford to apply to the Jan. 1, 2021 tax bills.

Submitted

On Dec. 16, 2020, Governor Lamont signed Executive Order 9R. This executive order extends the two property tax relief programs previously available to eligible taxpayers, businesses, nonprofits, and residents who had been economically affected by the COVID-19 pandemic.

The two programs are the Tax Deferment Program and the Interest Rate Reduction Program. These programs apply ONLY to the deadlines for tax bills that become due and payable on Jan. 1, 2021.

Tax Deferment Program: Available by application for eligible taxpayers. Application due by Feb. 1, 2021

The effect of this program is the equivalent of an extended grace period. The due date of the tax bill is still Jan. 1, 2021. Instead of the last day to pay being Feb. 1, 2021, the last day to pay will be extended to April 1, 2021. All taxpayers approved for the Tax Deferment Program must make payment no later than April 1, or interest will be charged at the statutory rate of 1.5% per month, retroactive to Jan. 1, 2021.

This program is offered to “eligible taxpayers” as defined below by the State of Connecticut, Office of Policy and Management:

For Residents:

Resident has suffered a reduction in income of at least 20% due to COVID-19 and since April 1, 2020, has been either:

  1. Furloughed without pay
  2. Work hours significantly reduced
  3. Unemployed

The Town of West Hartford has also made this program available to any resident who (1) is age 59 ½ or older as of Dec. 31, 2020 and (2) has suffered at least a 20% reduction in household income not related to wages or employment.

Click here for application; Due by Feb. 1, 2021.

For Business/Non-Profit:

Revenue expected to decrease at least 30% in the October 2020 to January 2021 period versus October 2019 to January 2020 period.

Click here for application; Due by Feb. 1, 2021.

Landlord Eligibility under the Deferment Program:

In order for landlords (or any taxpayer that rents or leases property to tenants or lessees) to be eligible for the Deferment Program, they must provide the Tax Collector with documentation that either the parcel has or will suffer significant income decline, or that commensurate forbearance has been offered to their tenants or lessees.

Commensurate forbearance means:

  1. A deferral of 25% of rent for ninety (90) days after its due date;
  2. A deferral of one month’s rent to be paid over the ninety (90) day period; or
  3. Forbearance substantially similar to (1) or (2) as determined by the Tax Collector.

The landlord must provide documentation evidencing proof that the tenants or lessees have received forbearance or that the landlord has actively offered forbearance to the tenants or lessees.

Click here for application;Due by Feb. 1, 2021.

Interest Rate Reduction Program:

There is no application or eligibility requirement (except for landlords – see below) for the Interest Rate Reduction Program. This program provides for a reduced interest rate for a period of three months on the following:

Tax Bills due January 1, 2021

The last day to pay without interest will still be February 1, 2021. Any payment made between February 2 and March 31 will be subject to interest at the reduced rate of .25% per month.

Any payments made on or after April 1, 2021 will be subject to interest at the statutory rate of 1.5% per month, retroactive to Jan. 1, 2021.

Landlord Eligibility under the Interest Rate Reduction Program

No formal application is required. However, similar to the Tax Deferment Program, in order for landlords (or any taxpayer that rents or leases property to tenants or lessees) to be eligible they must provide the tax collector with documentation that commensurate forbearance has been offered to their tenants or lessees).

Commensurate forbearance means:

  1. A deferral of 25% of rent for ninety (90) days after its due date;
  2. A deferral of one month’s rent to be paid over the ninety (90) day period; or
  3. Forbearance substantially similar to (1) or (2) as determined by the tax collector.

The landlord must provide documentation evidencing proof that the tenants have received forbearance or that the landlord has actively offered forbearance to the tenants or lessees.

Documentation can be provided via email to: [email protected]westhartfordct.gov.

Please include the words “LOW INTEREST” as well as the property location in the subject line of the email.

Escrow Payments

Escrow agents are still expected to remit tax payments on behalf of their customers according to the regular timetable, that is, by Feb. 1.

Additional information at westhartfordct.gov/tax

Questions? Email [email protected]westhartfordct.gov

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