Important Information About Your Property Taxes During the COVID-19 Emergency
FROM ASSEMBLY MEMBER MARC LEVINE
More than ever, I hope this email finds you and your loved ones safe and healthy. This is an unprecedented time for families in the North Bay and across the nation.
While in person contact with one another may be limited at this time, my team and I are working around the clock to keep you connected with the latest information about COVID-19 and California’s response to this pandemic.
This emergency is impacting not just our physical and emotional health, it is having a dire economic impact on many in our community.
Following questions from North Bay constituents concerned about the upcoming April 10 deadline for property tax payments, I personally reached out to the County Administrator and Members of the Board of Supervisors of Marin County to provide them with legal options available to defer payment or waive penalties for taxpayers unable to make their property tax payment on time due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
To protect the health and safety of residents, Marin County issued a “shelter at home” order on March 16. While this order has helped to save lives, it has also had a dramatic financial impact on individuals and business owners in the North Bay.
My letter outlined two available options that the County can use to reduce impacts to taxpayers in the short term. First, pursuant to Section 4985.2 of the Revenue and Taxation Code, a county tax collector is authorized to waive interest or penalties that would otherwise be imposed or collected with respect to a delinquent second installment of property taxes levied for the 2019-2020 fiscal year due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Second, pursuant to Section 2619 of the Revenue and Tax Code, the Board of Supervisors is authorized to approve an ordinance or resolution temporarily closing the tax collector’s office, which would also delay property tax payments.
While either of these actions could provide temporary relief to taxpayers impacted by COVID-19, these actions would also have an impact on the operations of county services, schools and local financial obligations. When considering either of these options, I encouraged the County to develop a plan to outline the impacts of delayed property tax payments and what local policy changes may be necessary in the short term to cover costs for essential local services.
Taxpayers that are able to make their property tax payment on time should do so. But for many families and businesses, this is a difficult and uncertain time. Local consideration of waiving fees and penalties for late property tax payments this April will help taxpayers throughout the North Bay. This action is consistent with a number of actions taken by the Legislature and Governor Newsom to address the many impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic on our community. I encourage Marin County leaders to consider all appropriate actions under the law to help residents and taxpayers during this emergency.
A copy of my letter to Marin County can be found HERE.
Marin County residents in need of assistance can contact the Department of Finance at (415) 473-6133 or by visiting their website HERE. The Marin County Board of Supervisors can be reached at (415) 473-7331 or by visiting their website HERE.
Please reach out to me by phone, email or social media if I can be of assistance to you and your family.
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