The Town of Westport has adopted a resolution waiving interest and penalties on property-tax payments due after July 31, in consideration of the hardship caused the by COVID-19 pandemic.

The town’s board of supervisors passed Resolution 20-03 at its June 1 meeting.

The resolution has effectively granted a two-month extension on second-installment payments due July 31, as no interest or penalties would accrue until the beginning of October.

“It’s not really a tax deferral,” town administrator Tom Wilson explained. “If you don’t pay by July 31, it is still delinquent. So it doesn’t make your payment on time. What it does it, it waives interest and penalties if you pay before October 1.”

The move has come less than a month after Dane County authorized its municipalities to waive interest and penalties on late property-tax payments, in light of the COVID-19 pandemic.

County officials described it as an effort to provide relief to area residents.

“The pandemic has impacted us all,” said county-board chair Analiese Eicher. “It is only right that Dane County take action to allow municipalities to delay property tax bills for our residents who may be struggling.”

Westport’s town chair, Dean Grosskopf agreed. He noted that allowing the waiver would have minimal effect on the township, as the majority of its property taxes had already been paid.

He added that doing so was “the right thing to do.”

“It just seems like the right thing to do under the circumstances,” Grosskopf said. “I don’t think we have a whole lot of choice. It’s politically advisable, and it doesn’t have much of a financial impact on the town… So I wholeheartedly approve it.”

The town’s resolution was passed by unanimous vote.

Also at the June 1 meeting, the board:

- Approved operator and liquor licenses for 13 local businesses

- Approved a $1.5 million borrowing package for road improvements, financed by the State Bank of Cross Plains (SBCP)

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