Municipal governments across Connecticut have until Saturday, April 25 to choose one of two local tax leniency programs mandated by Governor Ned Lamont in executive orders signed on April 1 and April 9.
The two options, one a tax deferment program and the other a low interest program, would apply to local tax property taxes and many other levies typically collected by local government between March 10 and July 1 of 2020.
|Local Government||Tax Program|
|Clinton||Low interest rate|
|Deep River||Low interest rate|
|Essex||Low interest rate|
|Lyme||Low interest rate|
|Old Lyme||Low interest rate|
|Old Saybrook||Low interest rate|
The programs offer taxpayers the opportunity to reduce or forgo interest typical for late payments as long as the payments are made within 90 days of the ordinary deadline.
Local residents able to “attest to or document significant economic impact” from COVID-19 would qualify for the deferment option. The reduced interest option would be available to every local taxpayer.
In Old Lyme
The Old Lyme Board of Selectmen voted on Monday to join the low interest rate program. First Selectman Timothy Griswold told the board that this program would be easier to administer and “the least disruptive” because it would not require taxpayers to apply. He added that it would also have less impact on the town’s finances because it would still make fiscal sense for anyone who could pay their taxes to do so on time.
According to Griswold, the low interest rate program “would provide a relatively reasonable relief to taxpayers, paying at the rate of 3 percent [annual interest on late payments] instead of 18, but likely we would not have a tremendous amount of people using that because not many could get 3 percent for 90 days if they couldn’t pay their taxes.”
Griswold explained that escrow agents who pay taxes to the town would still generally have to make those payments on time, ensuring a portion of the town’s income.
Selectman Mary Jo Nosal agreed and added that she also thought the low interest rate program was more equitable.
“The nice thing about the 3 percent [in the low interest rate program] is that it applies to everyone, so I think that’s fair,” Nosal said. “It’s certainly a lot less labor intensive for the town and helps us with our planning, but I like the aspect that it’s fair for everyone.”