The Board of Supervisors voted this week to cancel property tax penalties and other fees incurred by property owners who have been financially impacted by the county’s moratorium on evictions of tenants unable to pay their rent due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

The county’s eviction moratorium will remain in effect—although to varying degrees—through the end of the year.

Supervisor Kathryn Barger, who opposed the county’s move in January to extend the moratorium, introduced the motion with Supervisor Janice Hahn to eliminate tax penalties for landowners who suffered income losses due to the eviction ban.

“I’ve heard repeatedly from many property owners the devastating financial toll the pandemic has taken on them,” Barger said in a statement after the vote. “Some are elderly individuals who depend on their rental income to make ends meet. We can’t in good conscience balance COVID-19 relief on the backs of property owners. The county needed to put some skin in the game, and this motion was about delivering on the promise to share in the financial burden.”

Under the motion, which was approved unanimously, the county Department of Consumer and Business Affairs will reach out to property owners with information about how to request cancellation of tax penalties or other fees incurred due to loss of rental income.

“The eviction moratorium has prevented people from losing their housing, but our landlords have borne the brunt of this burden,” Hahn said in a statement. “While it is not within our authority to waive people’s property taxes, we can waive their late fees.”

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