Garfield County approves property tax relief measures
The Garfield County treasurer is allowing delayed property tax payments to give owners relief during the COVID-19 pandemic.
The county will not collect interest penalties and fees on late property tax payments made by April 30, making use of an executive order from Gov. Jared Polis.
“We’ve been getting a remarkable increase in calls from people who are desperate for property tax relief,” recently appointed Treasurer Carrie Couey told the commissioners Monday.
“There are two executive orders from the governor’s office that have relaxed what we can do with property tax interest and penalties,” Couey said.
The deadline for the first half of property taxes was Feb. 29, and the second was June 15, but the extended deadlines mean that the first half may be paid April 30 without penalties on late payments.
April 30 was the deadline for full tax payments if a property owner hadn’t paid the first half in February.
“We will follow the guidelines to accept the first half of the property tax payments up until April 30, which is well past the normal deadline, without interest or penalties as long as the second payment is made by June 15,” Couey said.
As a statutory government, Garfield County must comply with the state of Colorado’s laws and orders.
The governor’s recent orders related to pandemic relief do not allow the property tax deadline to be delayed past June 15.
The board unanimously approved of the measure.
“This is the treasurer’s decision and I salute that,” Commissioner Tom Jankovsky said. “For businesses that are in a cash flow crunch right now, it gives them some time to pay half their taxes and extend the other half out until June 15.”
Most of Garfield County’s budget comes from property taxes from homeowners, businesses and natural gas leases.
The county does not expect the stay at home orders or other COVID-19 measures to impact the county’s overall budget for this year.
The county has spent $418,000 on relief measures and to pay staff for additional hours due to the pandemic, but that came out of reserve funds.
“We have a fairly stable and predictable cash flow for 2020,” County Manager Kevin Batchelder told the commissioners Monday.
Projected revenues are expected to drop by about $5 million in 2021, and even more in 2022, Batchelder said.
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