Connecticut residents, businesses and landlords are getting a three-month grace period on taxes due to the COVID-19 pandemic — but exactly how much they’ll end up paying will depend on where they live.
In some towns, the tax deferment will be interest-free, while in others it will come with a lowered interest rate. Whether taxpayers need to apply for the deferment also varies from town to town, the Hartford Courant reported. The tax deferments apply to real estate, motor vehicle and personal property taxes.
Lamont signed an executive order in the spring instructing towns to defer July tax payments for three months at zero interest or lower the interest to 0.25% monthly. He recently extended the order to cover tax payments due Jan. 1.
Taxpayers applying for the deferment must show their household had an income loss of at least 20% due to COVID-19. Businesses must show their expected revenue will decrease at least 30% during the deferment period.
Hartford and numerous towns in Hartford County are offering interest-free deferment, the newspaper reported, while Berlin and Enfield are offering a lowered interest rate. Windsor will give the deferment automatically, town tax collector Cathleen Eliot told the Courant, while South Windsor will require an application.
The state Office of Policy Management website contains a list of towns and their policies.
Sara Spodick, director of the tax clinic at Quinnipiac University, said many people in low-income communities could be adversely affected by delinquent motor vehicle taxes.
“If you can’t pay these taxes, you can’t register your car, and that means you can’t legally drive a car,” Spodick said. “Somebody who’s had a significant cut in income may find that they’re coming up on a renewal period for their registration, which would include full year or even a year and a half of unpaid taxes.”