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TOWN OF GROTON COVID-19 PROPERTY TAX RELIEF PROGRAMS

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On April 1, 2020 Governor Lamont signed Executive Order 7-S which established two programs meant to offer temporary tax relief to eligible taxpayers financially affected by COVID-19. Under the executive order, every Connecticut municipality was required to implement one or both of the following property tax relief options on or before April 25, 2020:

  • Tax Deferment Program
  • Low Interest Rate Program

On April 21, 2020 the Town of Groton Town Council voted to implement both property tax relief programs.  Please see below for more details on each program.

TAX DEFERMENT PROGRAM – APPLICATIONS DUE ON OR BEFORE JULY 1, 2020
This program creates the equivalent of an extended grace period.  This means the deadline for payment is deferred, not the tax itself.  The due date of the tax bill is still July 1, 2020; however, the last day to pay the July 1, 2020 tax installment without interest is extended from August 3, 2020 to October 1, 2020.  This program applies to real property, personal property, motor vehicle taxes, and sewer use bills with a due date from April 1, 2020 through and including July 1, 2020. 

Taxpayers who own & reside in this as their primary residence or own a motor vehicle in Groton are considered automatically eligible for the deferment program. Any landlord, business, or nonprofit will need to prove eligibility by submitting an application attesting to or documenting significant economic hardship due to COVID-19, and/or document that they are providing relief to those significantly impacted by COVID-19. 

OPM has issued guidance regarding eligible taxpayers, defined as follows:

  • Business/Non-Profit Organization: revenue expected to decrease at least 30% from March to June 2020 versus March to June 2019.  Proof of ownership must be submitted, such as a business license, utility bills, Secretary of State listing, etc.

Please note: the deferment program only applies to those taxes that are currently due and payable.  Delinquent taxes are not eligible for the program and will instead fall under the Low Interest Rate Program detailed below.

TAX DEFERMENT APPLICATIONS
The Tax Deferment application will be available at the top of this page. Completed tax deferment applications can be mailed to the Town of Groton Tax Division at 45 Fort Hill Rd, Groton, CT 06340.  Application forms and supporting documentation can also be sent via email, to taxcollector@groton-ct.gov. The application form and supporting documentation must be received on or before July 1, 2020.  Eligibility will be determined by the tax collector, and the determination will be final.

LOW INTEREST RATE PROGRAM
There are no eligibility requirements (except for landlords – see below) for the Low Interest Rate Program.  For any taxes due beginning April 1, 2020 through and including July 1, 2020, any delinquent portion of the principal of the tax due will be subject to 3% annual interest or 0.25% per month for ninety (90) days from the date that they became due and payable until the date the taxes are paid.

The lower interest rate also applies to taxes that were delinquent prior to April 1, 2020 for a period of ninety (90) days from April 1, 2020 through and including June 30, 2020.  The program does not provide an extended grace period, but taxpayers that make payments on delinquent taxes during the ninety days will be subject to a significantly reduced interest rate.  After June 30, 2020 interest will be restored to the statutory rate of 1.5% per month.

LANDLORD ELIGIBILTY FOR PROPERTY TAX RELIEF PROGRAMS
Taxpayers who rent or lease property to tenants or lessees may prove eligibility for either tax relief program by providing documentation that: either the parcel will suffer significant income decline, or, that commensurate forbearance has been offered to their tenants.

Commensurate forbearance means (1) a deferral of 25% of rent for ninety (90) days after its due date; (2) a deferral of one month’s rent to be paid over the ninety (90) day period; or (3) forbearance substantially similar to (1) or (2) as determined by the tax collector.  The landlord must provide documentation evidencing proof that tenants have received forbearance or that the landlord has actively offered forbearance to the tenants or lessees.

TAX ESCROW PAYMENTS
The Governor’s Executive Order 7-S does not affect those tax payments that are paid from escrowed funds by mortgage companies.  Mortgage companies are still expected to remit tax payments with a due date of July 1, 2020 by the original last day to pay of August 3, 2020.

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