Great Barrington to consider extending tax bill deadlines, delaying town meeting and elections

“We know these are stressful times for our residents, so the Selectboard will have an opportunity to ease the burden on our taxpayers." -- Selectboard Chairman Stephen Bannon

Great Barrington — The Selectboard will discuss a number of important topics relating to the COVID-19 public health emergency at its virtual meeting on Monday, April 13th. The list includes extending deadlines for property and personal property tax bills beyond the May 1st deadline, waiving penalties and interest on excise tax and sewer bills, and setting new dates for the annual town meeting and local elections.

All of these issues were addressed in legislation approved by the Massachusetts Senate and House of Representatives and signed this afternoon by Gov. Charlie Baker, which paved the way for cities and towns to make it easier to provide financial relief to residents and conduct necessary business. The legislation is titled: An Act to Address Challenges Faced by Municipalities and State Authorities Resulting from COVID-19.

“Our hands were tied until this legislation was signed, but staff is prepared to make a number of recommendations to the board at this upcoming meeting,” said Town Manager Mark Pruhenski. “We’re grateful to Rep. William ‘Smitty’ Pignatelli, Sen. Adam Hinds, and everyone at the state level for their forward thinking which provided us with the flexibility we need right now.”

“We know these are stressful times for our residents, so the Selectboard will have an opportunity to ease the burden on our taxpayers,” said Stephen Bannon, Selectboard chairman. “Our community needs some room to breathe and we’ll do whatever we can do to help.”

Additionally, the Town Manager has given the green light to resume nonessential meetings beginning April 13th, as long as meetings are held virtually through a conference call or video conferencing platform that is open and available to the public. Posted agendas will now include all of the necessary call-in information, access codes, and the regular opportunities for the public to participate.

For questions, please contact the office of the Selectboard/Town Manager at 413-528-1619 x2.