As of today, the City of Columbus is temporarily suspending collections on debts owed directly to the city! Amid this viral pandemic and current stay at home order, people are running into issues moving into a new month of reoccurring bills. In efforts to help offer some type of relief, the city is doing what it can to take some of the weight off, temporarily of course.
“The COVID-19 epidemic will impact every sector of the Columbus economy, and already, small businesses and hourly workers are facing economic crisis,” said Columbus City Auditor Megan Kilgore. “Granting flexibility to taxpayers in meeting their obligations isn’t just the right thing to do, it’s economically imperative.”
This suspension of collection activities applies to delinquent city income tax, utilities and EMS transportation fees. The city’s income tax department has agreed to stop forwarding new cases to the City Attorney’s office and they will not be sending out new bills for at least 30 days. This will also include delinquent utility bills. The city will not refer accounts to collections for ,at least, the next 30 days.
According to the city officials, accounts that have payment plans already in place, you will still be expected to keep up with those payments.
“Those who are on an existing payment plan for City-related debts will still be expected to follow their repayment plans. Individuals who cannot make payments due to COVID-19-related hardship should contact their collection agency and request to temporarily discontinue payments. The City Attorney’s Office will reassess the state of collections again in 30 days,” the city said in a statement.
Mayor Ginther understands the hardships many of us are experiencing. “The City of Columbus does not want to make difficult times more difficult for those least able to meet the financial demands during this crisis,” said Mayor Andrew J. Ginther. “We need to provide resources and programs that support families. Together, we will enjoy brighter days ahead.”