Crow Wing County: Board approves COVID-19 property tax hardship penalty waiver process
The Crow Wing County Board approved a proposed property tax hardship penalty waiver process due to COVID-19 for the 2020 tax year, a news release said.
The board voted unanimously for this at an emergency board meeting Friday, April 3. The goal is to target homeowners where someone in the family has been laid off or business owners who were forced to close by the governor's executive order related to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Qualifying residents and business owners will have late fees penalties waived for properties until July 15, which would effectively extend the deadline for their first half property taxes that are otherwise due May 15.
With historic unemployment expected in the short term and numerous businesses ordered to close or modify operations due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Crow Wing County leaders agreed that there was a need to provide some form of relief to individual taxpayers experiencing layoffs and small businesses that were ordered to close.
“We know certain residents and small business owners are in a historically unique and desperate situation," Crow Wing County Board Chair Paul Koering said in a news release. "We also need to keep our county operational and providing vital services and public safety. Property taxes collected also go to cities, schools and townships and they need to keep their operations going as well, but we also know that there are residents that are in dire need right now. We knew this was the right thing to do to offer some help, however limited. We know that this won’t help everyone who is hurting, but it is what we can do without crippling our local governments’ ability to continue to provide our own critical services.”
Residents who qualify can fill out an online hardship application. To qualify, for residential property, one of the primary wage-earners within the household must have been laid off; for a business application, the business must be one of those that has been ordered to be closed by executive order of the governor.
Applicants will need to provide proof of qualifying for the relief, and businesses may be required to show business records to document that they were not only closed, but that delivering services, such as take-out or drive-through, still caused them to lose a majority of gross revenue and expenses.
Applications will be reviewed to see if the application meets these standard requirements. If requirements are met, owners/residents will be notified that their application has been approved. Any application that is not initially approved will be routed to the Land Services director for a second review.
If an application is ultimately denied, a denial letter will be emailed to the property owner(s). Applicants who have been denied will have the option to appeal the decision with a more formal appeal directly to the county board.
Requests must be received in the Land Services Department by no later than the end of business day April 30 to be considered.
For more information or to apply, log onto https://www.crowwing.us/TaxPenaltyWaiver or contact Land Services at 218-824-1010.