Richmond property owners and businesses may now apply for the city to waive penalties and interest on their delinquent real estate, lodging, meals or admissions tax payments.
The new tax amnesty program adopted by the Richmond City Council last month is intended to help residents and businesses struggling financially due to the economic impact of the COVID-19 pandemic.
“During such a challenging period for Richmond residents, we want to maximize accessibility to and participation in this program,” Mayor Levar Stoney said in a news release Monday. “It’s yet another way the city strives to offer compassionate care.”
Under the program, the city will erase all penalties and interest on past-due real estate tax payments if property owners pay off the principal tax due or arrange a six-month payment plan with a 25% down payment during an amnesty period in March.
The city also will forgive all penalties and interest on prior admissions, lodging and meals tax bills due before April 21 under similar guidelines in April.
Sam Schwartzkopf, a spokesperson for the mayor, said the city is accepting applications now in order to help residents and businesses ahead of the designated amnesty periods. She said applicants should wait to pay off their bills until after they have applied.
“Residents can submit their applications as soon as they are ready and do not have to wait until the respective periods,” she said. “The application will tell the Department of Finance that they’re interested in amnesty, which will reduce the total amount due.”