Selectmen OK tax deferral program

BEACON FALLS — The Board of Selectmen Monday night agreed to allow certain federal workers, who live in town, impacted by the partial government shutdown to defer tax payments, granted they apply to do so by Friday.

While town officials believe there aren’t many residents who fall into that category, they felt adopting the deferment program is worth it to help even one person.

“If there’s something that we can do to help that small handful of people and get them over the hump on something, I think that it’s worth it to us to explore doing that,” said First Selectman Christopher Bielik during a special meeting of the board.

During the partial federal government shutdown, which started Dec. 22 and ended Friday, many federal employees were furloughed or worked with no pay. As the shutdown dragged on, state lawmakers early last week approved a bill that, among other things, permitted municipalities to defer property tax payments from federal employees affected by the shutdown.

The legislation comes at a time when some tax bills are coming due. Supplemental motor vehicle taxes and the second installment of real estate taxes are due on Friday. Interest must be charged immediately on bills that are delinquent under state law, Tax Collector Mary Anne Holloway said.

Under the program, Holloway said people who qualify can defer their tax payments for up to 60 days. Holloway said she’s only heard from one resident so far about the program, adding that the interest on a delinquent tax payment would amount to about $140 for that person.

Applications for the deferment program are available at the Tax Collector’s Office in Town Hall, 10 Maple Ave. Residents can call the office at 203-723-5244 for information.

There is the potential for another shutdown in February, but for now town officials agreed adopting the deferment program is something the town should do.

“At the end of the day, the town of Beacon Falls is not going to be impacted as dramatically with this as the individuals themselves,” Selectman Michael Krenesky said.