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In an effort to help those local federal employees altered by the recent federal shutdown, the Madison Board of Selectmen (BOS) adopted a specific tax deferment program for those employees at a meeting on Feb. 6. The program will help those employees avoid interest on any late payments due to the shutdown.
Back in January, in the midst of the shutdown, the Connecticut legislature passed an emergency measure that creates an interest-free loan program and gives municipalities the ability to establish tax-deferment programs for affected federal employees.
First Selectman Tom Banisch said the BOS was poised to adopt such a program at its last January meeting, but the shutdown ended by Jan. 25 so the program was tabled. However, Banisch said new information suggests that adopting a deferment program is still needed.
“I think we assumed that would mean the employees would be getting paid in time, but I have been told that they are not paid in time,” he said.
Taxes were due Feb. 1, so Banisch said the program would be retroactive to that date. The deferment program is only for federal employees and the program only lasts for this specific shutdown. The program establishes a 60-day grace period, starting Jan. 25 (the last day of the shutdown) for federal employees to avoid the 18 percent interest on late payments.
Banisch said he isn’t certain how many federal employees this might help, but that it was an important step regardless.
“We don’t know exactly how many people in town were affected because, for instance, we have a lot of FBI people in Madison and we don’t know if they were paid during that time,” he said. “What we do know is that there were federal employees working during that time and not getting paid for it.”
Granting towns the ability to establish a tax deferment program was one part of a larger bill, but State Representative Noreen Kokoruda (R-101) previously said the reason that item was included in the bill is because a Madison resident reached out.
“A local guy picks up the phone, makes a call, and this gets added to the bill,” she said. “That wouldn’t have happened without him because no one else picked up on that.”
Federal employees living in Madison affected by the shutdown can contact the Tax Collector’s Office at 203-245-5641.
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