OC Supervisors Drop Tax Relief Proposal During Coronavirus Crisis

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SANTA ANA (CNS) - Without comment, Orange County supervisors dropped discussion today of a proposal to provide property tax relief to residents hammered financially by the COVID-19 crisis.

The proposal from Supervisor Andrew Do would have waived penalties and fines for delinquent property tax payments for residents hurt financially by the coronavirus pandemic.

Do wanted to give residents a 90-day waiver of penalties for property tax payments.

“If this is not a catastrophe to warrant some kind of accommodation, then what is?” Do said before Tuesday's board meeting.

Instead, the supervisors unanimously approved a directive to the county's Chief Executive Officer Frank Kim to send a letter to Gov. Gavin Newsom and local congressional representatives requesting “no-interest financing to cover any greater-than-normal” dropoff in property tax revenue for the county and other agencies such as cities, schools and special districts.

A message left with Do to ask why the rest of the proposal had been dropped for discussion on Tuesday was not immediately returned.

The supervisors also dropped discussion of an emergency moratorium against all evictions for county-owned properties through June 30 if the tenant can't pay the rent due to costs related to coronavirus.

Do and other county officials planned a news conference Tuesday afternoon to provide greater details on the planning going into the expected surge in coronavirus cases in Orange County.

On Monday, county health officials reported 37 more cases, bringing the total to 464. No new deaths were reported, leaving the county's total at four.

The first death, reported last Tuesday, involved a 75-year-old man who was hospitalized March 17 and died two days later. Two deaths were reported Friday and a fourth was reported Saturday, but no further information was released about those patients.

Two new cases were reported in Orange County's jails, Sheriff Don Barnes said. That brings the total number of men who have tested positive for coronavirus in custody to five, the sheriff said.

Officials are awaiting test results from a 69-year-old inmate at the Central Men's Jail in Santa Ana who died at a hospital on Sunday.

Since Friday, about 130 inmates were released early to make room in the jail for an expected surge in cases. Forty-three of those inmates were designated at risk because of their age or health, and the rest had 10 days or less to go on their sentence. Barnes said he would go up to 60 days left on a sentence to consider for early release if more beds are needed in the jails.

Photo: Getty Images

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