Report by Paula Antolini, April 27, 2020, 1:02PM EDT
BETHEL TAX RELIEF PROGRAM APPROVED
On Tuesday night, the Board of Selectmen unanimously approved a tax deferral program to help residents and businesses who have suffered income losses as a result of the pandemic shutdown. The program is open to all Bethel residents, businesses and non-profits.
The program offers a 90-day deferral on all real and personal property taxes, utility charges and assessments between March 10th and July 1st, 2020. This will apply to April tax bills that are currently pending, as well as tax bills to be issued in June. For those that qualify, the new deadline date for April taxes will be July 1st; for June taxes, the deadline date will be October 1st.
Qualifying for the program is simple: residents and businesses must sign a form attesting to a loss of income during this period of 20% or more.
Program details and the application form can be found on the town website. The following link will take you directly to the tax deferral page:
UPDATE ON COVID-19 IN BETHEL
Unfortunately, Bethel’s case total has risen to 177 laboratory confirmed cases of COVID-19 as of Wednesday, April 22nd. Sadly, Bethel has now suffered 12 fatalities due to this disease.
The sudden jump in the total is not all due to new cases; as reported in Governor Lamont’s daily press briefings, there have been occasional lags in accurately reporting addresses from the labs to the state Department of Public Health. The change in yesterday’s total reflects catching up and correcting previous reports. Still, this information illustrates how critically important it is that we all continue to diligently follow all safety precautions.
There is some good news to report: for the past few days, the number of new cases and new hospitalizations in Fairfield County has declined. If this trend continues, it will be an indication that our area has “peaked” and we are on the down side of the rate of infection curve.