Governor Ned Lamont has ordered that we reinstate the July 2020 tax relief programs for the upcoming January 2021 installment. OPM has been trying for quite some time to advocate for our association, to make things easier for us, to NOT do this at all! Unfortunately, this is something the Governor wants to do for the taxpayers of CT due to COVID 19, and we are caught in the middle, having to administer this new Executive Order. Adam Cohen and I were also involved in a conference call MONDAY with OPM, CCM and COST, but the writing was clearly on the wall, and this was going to happen, whether we liked it or not. I have outlined the important aspects of this new EO below. When all else fails, K.I.S.S. Don’t overthink it. Don’t stress about it. Don’t re-print or re-mail your bills.
The Governor’s Office was made aware that many municipalities have already mailed their 2019 MVS bills. They are also aware that most of us only send original RE and PP bills in the summer. They are also aware that IF a municipality does send out a new RE and/or PP bill for the second installment, chances are, that has already happened too.
IF you still have the opportunity to make a change to any bills you are mailing for January 1, please take the time to do so.
IF any aspect of item #1 above is true for you, don’t sweat it. Simply post the information on your town’s website and/or Facebook page. Post signs in your town hall. Contact your local newspapers and get the word out as simply and as cheaply as possible. If your website and/or Facebook pages mention interest accruing as of February 2nd and you have chosen the deferment option, you must update.
You MUST update your legal notice to reflect the changes in delinquent date and/or lower interest amount.
If your municipality was satisfied with the way things went for the July installment and want to keep the same parameters in place regarding delinquent date and/or interest rate, no other action is necessary. If your municipality wants to CHANGE the program chosen for the July installment, a vote of the legislative body must be taken and result reported to OPM no later than December 30, 2020. For instance (fictionally speaking): My town opted for the lower interest rate program for the July installment. For January, they want to offer the extended grace period option instead. My Town Council MUST vote on that and provide the choice to OPM no later than 12/30/20. If your town only opted for one program and now wants to offer both, a vote must be taken and reported to OPM no later than December 30, 2020. Obviously, the easiest thing would be for the same option(s) to be chosen as was chosen for July.
This new EO does NOT apply to any back taxes or tax installments already subject to interest or legal action. This EO ONLY applies to the January 1, 2021 installment.
We are all aware that for quarterly towns, this means that there was an extension for July 1, nothing for October 1, and now another extension for January 1. I know. It’s a mess. This EO ONLY applies to the January 1, 2021 installment.
Trust me: anything you are thinking, I have already thought it. Anything you want to say, I have already said it. We can be angry. We can be frustrated. Let’s Just try our best to get the word out in forums that are cheap and widely accessible. I appreciate all you have done this year to keep your offices, nay, your municipalities running with the revenue you have been continually collecting during this year of COVID. Continue to serve your municipality with professionalism and common sense. Any questions you may have, should have been addressed above. If not, I urge you to discuss with your CEO. Be the leaders you are, make the decisions that keep it simple for you, but allow you to be in compliance (to the best of your ability), with Executive Order 9R. IF your CEOs receive enough feedback from YOU, perhaps, they will report to CCM and advocate more strongly for us next time. I will NOT be sending any surveys to CTx about what we are doing or how we are doing it. As you can imagine, we are pretty much over this nonsense.
Be well. Stay safe and healthy.
Teresa M. Babon, CCMC
OPM Program Certification COVID 1.1.2021
Exec. Order 9R OPM Guidance.Final
EO 9R.FAQ Document.Final
COVID-19 Deferral Form Revison Fillable.January