March 26, 2020
CHESTERFIELD COUNTY, VA — Yesterday, at the Wednesday, March 25, 2020 meeting, the Chesterfield County Board of Supervisors approved a temporary freeze on penalties and fees on unpaid hotel taxes and utility bills. The board passed the emergency ordinance to provide some relief to businesses and citizens affected by the challenges presented by the outbreak of the novel coronavirus known as COVID-19.
The COVID-19 pandemic has severely impacted localities in the Commonwealth. On March 12, 2020, Governor Ralph Northam declared a state of emergency in response to the continued spread of COVID-19. On March 12, 2020, pursuant to Sec. 44-146.21 of the Code of Virginia, the county’s director of Emergency Management declared the existence of an emergency county-wide. The hotel industry has been severely impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic and has requested temporary relief from penalties and interests during the declared emergency to allow them to financially weather this emergency.
Additionally, many county citizens may be experiencing loss of a job or decreased hours in their employment. These citizens may ultimately be forced to use their reduced income to make mortgage or rental payments and buy food and medical insurance. This may leave little income to make utility payments. The Department of Utilities has already suspended service disconnection for nonpayment. However, during the current pandemic, county utility customers may need additional financial help to manage the payment of utility bills.
“We are committed to maintaining the economic vibrancy of our community. This temporary suspension of penalties and interest will be one way we can provide some relief to our citizens and businesses as they deal with the many hurdles they are currently facing,” Leslie Haley, Chesterfield County Board of Supervisors chair, said.
This ordinance grants temporary relief and will expire 30 days after the conclusion of the declared emergency. The board will hold a public hearing and readopt this ordinance within 60 days, according to state law requirements. The board will then be able to assess how these waiver programs are functioning and whether changes need to be made. During this time, staff will be analyzing applying similar waivers to the county’s other taxation programs.
“We know the Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic has severely impacted all of Chesterfield County citizens and businesses and we will continue to work with our elected officials and federal, state and regional partners to find ways we can help sustain them through this pandemic,” County Administrator Dr. Joe Casey said.
For questions or additional assistance, contact Chesterfield Economic Development via email at email@example.com.
For additional information on regional resources for businesses, visit www.chamberrva.com/news/coronavirus-resources-for-rva-businesses/.
For employment resources for individuals, visit www.vcwcapital.com/covid-19-related-resources.
Versión en Español: PERDON EN SERVICIOS PUBLICOS (PDF)