MIAMI (CBSMiami) – Business owners and landlords, who are suffering through coronavirus shutdowns and loss of business, are about be financially hit once again with upcoming property taxes, which in many cases, are hefty.
“We are swimming or navigating in strange waters,” said Miami-Dade County Property Appraiser Pedro Garcia.
It could get stranger when landlords have difficulty paying their property tax when they are due on November 1.
“I have gone to so many businesses and seen empty spaces. between you and me, they are spaces that won’t be rented again,” said Garcia.
Garcia is worried. Worried about landlords, apartment owners, and restaurants which have been forced to close.
“Maybe they can give them an extension without interest possibly pay on a quarterly basis. Maybe help from the federal government.”
As much as he would like to, he and his fellow appraisers across the state can’t ease the burden or push back the date. That is up to the state legislature.
“In the past, the legislature has said you have to pay your taxes but if circumstances are there will be a rebate of taxes,” explained Larry Bartlett, Volusia County Appraiser and President of the Florida Association of Property Appraisers. “We have asked the governor to look into that for this year. So it would take effect in 2021.”
That’s not good for this year but all involved know the pandemic economic effects could linger for years.
“Specifically, for commercial property that were forced to close by the Governor’s office, the application should be made available to those folks,” said Bartlett.
Property taxes provide citizens with public schooling, police protection, and other vital services. When they are not paid, budget cuts become a possibility.