On April 1, 2020, Governor Lamont issued Executive Order No. 7S, which created two potential property tax relief programs: a tax payment deferral program and a reduced interest program, the relevant dates of which were modified slightly by Executive Order No. 7W issued on April 9, 2020. The order required every municipality to adopt one or both of the programs by April 25, 2020.

The Deferment Program provides eligible taxpayers, businesses, nonprofits and residents a ninety (90) day deferment of any real property, personal property, or other assessments payments due between April 1, 2020 through July 1, 2020. The Deferment Program is available to those suffering significant economic impact due to COVID-19 and those providing relief to people affected by the COVID-19 pandemic.

The Low Interest Rate Program reduces the interest rate on delinquent payments of real property, personal property, or other assessment tax to 3% per annum (instead of the statutory rate of 18%) for the period from April 1, 2020 through July 1, 2020, including for delinquencies arising prior to that period.

The property tax relief programs are not applicable to payments made from escrow accounts held by a lender, if the borrower is current on its mortgage or in a forbearance or deferment program. These limitations will prevent most homeowners with institutional mortgages, and many conventionally financed commercial property owners, from being able to take advantage of these programs. Also, landlords may only participate in the Deferment Program if the property has or will suffer significant revenue decline or if the landlord provides commensurate forbearance to its tenants. In order to participate in the Low Interest Rate Program, landlords must provide commensurate forbearance to its tenants.

While the order appears to have been intended to provide a degree of uniformity for property tax relief among municipalities, in their adoption of the plans, several municipalities have imposed varying requirements for eligibility and application of each of the programs. Therefore, it is necessary to determine the program(s) that the municipality adopted and also any specific limitations or requirements imposed by that municipality. Below are the program adoptions for several municipalities.

Hartford – Hartford has adopted the Deferment Program. Hartford requires taxpayers to apply for deferment by July 1, 2020, by submitting an application form provided by the Connecticut Office of Policy and Management (OPM). Further information on Hartford’s Deferment Program, including how to submit the application, can be found on the City of Hartford website.

New Haven – New Haven elected to participate in both the Deferment Program and the Low Interest Rate Program, but appears to have attempted to reserve the opportunity to only implement one of the programs. Further information will be needed to determine whether both programs will be implemented and the requirements to apply for the program(s).

Stamford – Stamford has adopted the Deferment Program, but has not yet published specific details for the implementation of the Deferment Program.

Waterbury –Waterbury adopted the Deferment Program. Waterbury requires taxpayers to apply for deferment by July 1, 2020, by submitting the OPM application form. Further information on Waterbury’s Deferment Program, including how to submit the application, can be found on the City of Waterbury website.

Additional information and resources are available at the Carmody COVID-19 Resource Center. For guidance and advice on these issues and your particular situations and concerns, please contact one of our attorneys listed below. We will all get through this together. Be safe and stay healthy.

Liam S. Burke
(203) 252-2689; lburke@carmodylaw.com

Gregg T. Burton
(203) 784-3173; gburton@carmodylaw.com

Patrick J. Hanna
(203) 252-2667; phanna@carmodylaw.com

David S. Hardy
(203) 784-3119; dhardy@carmodylaw.com

Brian T. Henebry
(203) 575-2601; bhenebry@carmodylaw.com

William J. Hennessey
(203) 425-4200; whennessey@carmodylaw.com

Marc J. Kurzman
(203) 252-2680; mkurzman@carmodylaw.com

Christopher J. Rooney
(203) 784-3109; crooney@carmodylaw.com

Michael P. Sweeney
(203) 252-2690; msweeney@carmodylaw.com