The City and Chamber also formed a Business Support Task Force to identify forms of immediate mitigation and relief of the economic impacts of the COVID-19 crisis on local businesses. One of those sources of relief centers around rent relief for commercial tenants. After significant advocacy from the City and Chamber, along with government and business leaders throughout Marin, the Board of Supervisors Tuesday approved a resolution that prevents evictions of tenants suffering a sudden loss of income due to the shelter in place order through at least May 31.
The task force made a concurrent effort to push for interest-free, 90-day extensions on the fast approaching April 10 real property tax bill, a move that would hopefully spur commercial property owners, if possible, to pass along some of that temporary relief to their tenants. Such a move would be fitting with the federal government offering taxpayer relief including extension of IRS tax payments and filings for 90 days. On a related note, Governor Newsom announced that four of the five biggest U.S. banks will provide 90-day grace periods to make mortgage payments.
Informed by county officials that a property tax deferment would require state urgency legislation, the task force sent letters to North Bay legislators state Sen. Mike McGuire and Assemblyman Marc Levine to introduce emergency legislation.
"One of the points of focus in the discussion is the cash crunch coming to all local businesses as a result of the Shelter-in-Place order issued by our County Department of Health," states the task force in the letter. "Even those businesses that are well capitalized with cash on hand and borrowing capacity will have cash flow difficulty as a result of shutting down operations. While the difficult decision to possibly lay off employees and cut other costs can partially offset the decline or absence of revenue, fixed costs still have to be paid. Our businesses are worried about the impacts on cash flow of covering rent, insurance and other fixed costs during these challenging times. Our Task Force strongly encourages you to consider a delay in the due date of this second installment of property taxes until this Shelter-in-Place order is lifted and revenues start to recover."
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If no stage urgency legislation on property tax deferment is passed, property taxes are still due April 10 in Marin County despite the new coronavirus pandemic. County officials said 120 local public agencies rely on property tax revenue to maintain essential public services.
Residents have to pay their second installment of 2019-2020 property taxes by April 10 to avoid penalties. Taxpayers are advised to pay online, over the phone or by mail to limit person-to-person exposure at the tax office. Ways to pay:
- Pay online using the assessor parcel number: marincounty.org/taxbillonline
- Pay by phone using the tax bill number: 800-985-7277
- Pay by mail postmarked by April 10