Florida Politics: “Shevrin Jones pushes for property tax payment extension during COVID-19 outbreak”

Jones is also seeking recommendations that those payments be submitted online.

In a letter to Gov. Ron DeSantis, Rep. Shevrin Jones is pushing for a 90-day extension for Floridians to pay their property taxes as the state deals with the COVID-19 virus.

“Gov. DeSantis must extend the deadline to pay property taxes…from March 31 to June 29, and recommend everyone complete their payments online,” Jones said in a Monday statement explaining his push.

“This is a very stressful time for residents in our state suffering from the direct effects of the coronavirus and I am committed to helping in any way that I can.”

Many workers have been asked to work from home in an effort to promote social distancing. But with an economic slowdown being forecast for the next few months, analysts worry many may lose their jobs and be sapped of any income to pay basic expenses.

The West Park Democrat has previously called on DeSantis to provide relief for those affected by the outbreak. Last Tuesday, Jones asked DeSantis to suspend evictions and utility shutdowns. Friday, Jones called for a three-month pause on mortgage and rent payments. Some localities have already taken those steps. But Jones is pushing for action at the state level to cover all Floridians affected by the changes.

President Donald Trump announced recommendations earlier this month that people stop gathering in groups greater than 10 to help slow the spread of the virus. But late Sunday night, Trump said he’ll reexamine that push in an all-caps blast on Twitter. [View Tweet here.]

Despite the federal government’s recommendations, states and localities will still be free to institute restrictions as needed. And with confirmed cases in Florida continuing to rise, it’s appearing more and more likely things will not be back to normal by April.

The death rate for those who test positive for the virus has sat above 3%. However, those calculations do not include individuals who may have contracted the virus, but are asymptomatic and thus survive without incident. Including those individuals would lower the death rate, but it’s unclear how many such individuals there are worldwide.

Most who do show symptoms develop a fever or cough and may have trouble breathing, though they do recover. But older individuals and those with underlying health risks are susceptible to developing more severe symptoms.

The lack of available testing has led to a dearth of information regarding who is carrying the virus, forcing the state and federal governments to institute widespread warnings and closures to limit interaction among all individuals as a precaution. That has prompted drastic measures that put a drag on the economy.


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