Government watchdogs are raising concerns about the impact the coronavirus shutdown could have on property taxes, with one sounding a call to re-open businesses as soon as possible, an approach medical experts say could undercut efforts to stop the virus spread.
“I am very concerned about businesses not paying their rent, and therefore a drop in commercial property taxes,” Massachusetts Fiscal Alliance spokesman Paul Craney said. “Many cities and towns that rely heavily for commercial property taxes will feel the shortfall very soon.”
Craney estimates municipalities will notice the revenue drop as soon as April 1 and claims there will be another “wave of this depression” by May 1 if mortgage payments are not paid and there is a reduction in the residential property taxes.
“That’s why it is so important that business be allowed to open back up on April 7 and relief is given to employers and taxpayers,” Craney said. “The best thing state leaders can do is to allow businesses to be open, and temporarily suspend the e-commerce sales tax and meals tax. Businesses need to be able to do commerce and people need to be able to get their food products they want.”