Fairfield will defer taxes again

The Sullivan Independence Hall in Fairfield, Conn.

The Sullivan Independence Hall in Fairfield, Conn.

/ Josh LaBella

FAIRFIELD — For the second time this year, the town has signed on to a tax deferment created by an executive order from Gov. Ned Lamont, officials announced.

“The pandemic has created many challenges for residents and I am grateful the governor again provided this option for towns so we in turn can provide relief to residents,” First Selectwoman Brenda Kupchick said in a news release.

The deferment pushes the due date to April 1 instead of Feb. 1. This adds 60 days to the usual 30 day-grace period already offered, bringing the total extension to 90 days.

“Anyone who fails to pay by April 1 would have to pay three months of interest added along with his or her existing bill,” according to the release.

The town first approved a tax deferment program in the spring for taxes due April 1 and July 1. It came after Lamont authorized one in an executive order in response to the pandemic.

Lamont’s recently signed Executive Order, No. 9R, allows towns to again offer deferment for property tax payments.

“The new executive order allows towns to offer deferment for taxes due January 1,” the release said.

Escrow accounts would still be ineligible for deferment, it said.

Fairfield Tax Collector Dave Kluczwski said there was not enough time to include notice about the grace period in the bills to residents because the order was granted so late. However, the town is working to send out a postcard, and is doing all it can to get notice out through news outlets, as well as on social media and the town website.

No approvals are needed from any other town bodies to implement the tax deferment program as long as the town is doing the same tax break program that was authorized earlier in the year, according to Executive Order 9R.

The release said the last deferment and this new deferment do not address the sewer and real estate taxes that were due on Oct. 1, which are not eligible for deferment. Interest is still charged and interest paid cannot be refunded or transferred.

Kluczwski estimates that approximately $10 million was deferred during the last program. However he said the deferred payments were ultimately received within three months based on his analysis of overall tax collections.

Seventy-one percent of towns opted for the deferment over the low-interest program last time, the release said.

For more information, contact Fairfield Tax Collector, Dave Kluczwski at dkluczwski@fairfieldct.org or at 203.256.3100.

joshua.labella@hearstmediact.com