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Will You Get Property Tax Relief Due to the COVID-19 National Emergency?

 

Governments, and even some private businesses, have worked to ease the burden on people who are struggling financially due to the COVID-19 pandemic. For people who are concerned about losing their home after being laid off or seeing their business revenue plummet, programs have been established to offer rent and mortgage relief. While many affected parties will certainly welcome this news, homeowners might also be concerned about property tax payments that are coming due.

Property taxes are collected under the control of state, county, and municipal governments and taxing authorities, so Congress and the President cannot enact measures covering the whole country. Accordingly, different jurisdictions are evaluating a variety of responses, such as:

  • Expanding Grace Periods – Because the economic downturn has taken a huge bite out of public revenues, full-scale relief might be impossible in some jurisdictions. As such, a proposal to extend the typical grace periods for non-payment might give people a breather and allow them to make a delayed payment without penalty.
  • Offering Payment Plans – Possessing the power to impose liens on property and seize land, if necessary, government authorities usually do not have to accommodate people who cannot afford to pay their tax bill when it is due. The challenge presented by the pandemic has shifted the thinking of some officials, and some jurisdictions are now looking to give homeowners the option to pay as little as 20% of the amount they owe on deadline and address the balance over time.
  • Easing of Rebate Rules – Many states offer property tax and/or rent rebates and exemptions for individuals within certain classes, such as the elderly, disabled persons, and wounded veterans. Securing these benefits sometimes requires compliance with strict rules and deadlines, so recognizing the turmoil caused by the pandemic, some jurisdictions have extended the application deadlines for these benefits in order to allow more individuals to potentially receive this added assistance.

Whether you currently own a home or are concerned about the prospective property taxes at a residence that you are considering for purchase, a dedicated real estate attorney can explain the overall situation and the latest changes prompted by the COVID-19 crisis.

 

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