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WEST HAVEN, Jan. 29, 2019 — The City Council on Monday night, Jan. 28, adopted a resolution instituting a tax deferment program to help ease the financial burden for West Haven federal employees who were furloughed by the 35-day government shutdown.
Initiated by Mayor Nancy R. Rossi, the resolution, “Furloughed Employee Tax Deferment,” instructs the tax office to establish a program deferring real estate and motor vehicle taxes for affected federal employees consistent with the West Haven Charter and Connecticut Special Act 19-1 under House Bill 5765.
According to the state statute, enacted by the General Assembly on Jan. 22, an affected employee is defined as “a federal employee who, during the shutdown, is (A) a resident of this state, and (B) required to work as a federal employee without pay or furloughed as a federal employee without pay.”
Rossi said the tax deferment program will give federal employees immediate relief by allowing them to postpone paying their taxes.
The resolution was adopted 8-0, with five council members absent for the vote.
Voting “yes” were Nicholas W. Ruickoldt, D-2; Aaron Charney, D-3; Majority Leader Robbin Watt Hamilton, D-5; Peter V. Massaro, D-6; Portia Bias, D-7; Tracy A. Morrissey, D-8; Louise Martone, D-10; and Minority Leader Richard DePalma, R-at large.
Absent were Bridgette J. Hoskie, D-1; Mitchell L. Gallignano, D-4; Sean P. Ronan, D-9; Chairman Ronald M. Quagliani, D-at large; and David C. Forsyth, D-at large.
Rossi thanked the council for adopting the resolution just in time, as the second installment of the city’s tax bills are due Feb. 1.
She also thanked Quagliani for amending the council agenda to include the resolution.
Rossi, in a Jan. 24 letter to Quagliani, wrote: “The (Connecticut) Special Act was passed after the (City Council) agenda deadline, so I am requesting you to amend the agenda for January 28, 2019, to include this additional item as taxes will be due February 1, 2019, and this will be the last regularly scheduled City Council meeting prior to the February 1, 2019, deadline.”
“I am requesting the City Council pass this resolution,” she wrote.
Rossi said an unknown number of city residents who work for the U.S. government were affected by the partial shutdown, which ran from Dec. 22 to Jan. 25.
“We do not know exactly how many furloughed federal workers pay taxes in West Haven,” she said. “Offering a deferment will hopefully help ease some of their financial burdens and make the furlough period a less stressful experience.”
Any federal employee who lives in West Haven can pick up a tax deferment application in the mayor’s office on the third floor of City Hall, 355 Main St. For information, call the office at 203-937-3510.
— MICHAEL P. WALSH, Public Relations Information Coordinator