Manchester Select Board gives taxpayers more time

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MANCHESTER — The Select Board is giving taxpayers a break on their 2020-21 tax payments.

The board voted to not charge the allowable 1 percent interest on payments not received on time, giving taxpayers a break for the month of September and much of October as long as payments are made by Oct. 23.

So, interest is being waived for the month of September and October up to the 23rd. And the due date for payments has been extended to Oct. 23.

The interest on late payments is charged for the entire month if it's even one day late. So a payment made after Oct. 23 means the taxpayer be assessed 1 percent interest for the entire month of October.

Michael DeCubellis, director of Accounting & Finance for the town, told the board that because of delayed payments from the state was causing some town taxpayers to hold off on paying their taxes, his recommendation was to push off the interest penalties to Oct. 1 for anybody who hadn't paid.

DeCubellis said the delinquent bills were only about 5 percent and he said there was plenty of income to cover the school payment so he saw no problem with foregoing the 1 percent interest on the small number of accounts.

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He also pointed out that the property owners were asking if there was anything the Select Board could do to help them out.

Town Manager John O'Keefe suggested to the board that if the board was willing to forgo the interest until Oct. 1, perhaps they should consider waiting until after the holiday weekend the second weekend in October to give business owners one last big push.

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Indigenous Peoples' Day will be celebrated Oct. 12 this year after a Vermont law passed in 2019 officially replaced Columbus Day that was formerly celebrated on the second Monday of October in the Green Mountain State.

The holiday creates a three-day weekend, which is traditionally a good travel weekend as visitors come for the fall foliage and Manchester businesses usually see good traffic that weekend.

"The hospitality businesses get a surge of business [that weekend]," O'Keefe said. "I think we could bite the bullet and go until the 15th."

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Select Board Chairman Ivan Beattie said he understood Labor Day had brought in good crowds and suspected, barring any change in the pandemic, there's no reason the October holiday wouldn't be good.

"It would be a reasonable expectation that [holiday] would be busy as well," Beattie said. "It gives people some breathing room and let's people know we support them."

The board seemed in agreement on that, then board member Jan Nolan added another week.

"What's the difference between the 16th or 23rd?" Nolan asked. "If you're a business owner and you've just had a big weekend, this would give the business owner an extra week to get everything lined up and the deposit made to pay their tax bill."

Contact Darren Marcy at dmarcy@manchesterjournal.com or by cell at 802-681-6534.


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