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Cumberland tax deadline extended

The Cumberland County Board of Supervisors voted unanimously Tuesday night, Nov. 10, to extend the county’s due date for the 2020 second half real estate and personal property taxes for an additional 30 days, moving the due date from Nov. 15 to Dec. 15.

The decision was made after County Treasurer L.O. Pfeiffer Jr. submitted a Nov. 5 letter to the board requesting the extension in order to allow extra time for taxpayers most affected by job losses or reduction of hours as a result of the pandemic to pay taxes without additional penalty or interest.

In his letter, Pfeiffer also said the extension would allow the treasurer’s office extra time to accommodate taxpayers who may wish to pay in person and will help avert hallway crowding and wait times that can occur in the office around the due date.

Supervisors debated the request for several minutes Tuesday night, with some officials concerned the extension may prove to just be “kicking the can down the road,” and others pointing out the decision could be boiled down to a tax deadline right before Thanksgiving or a tax deadline right before Christmas.

Eurika Tyree

District 3 Supervisor Eurika Tyree heavily emphasized her support of the extension during Tuesday’s meeting, remarking that the ongoing coronavirus pandemic had caused financial hardship on many citizens and that moving back the tax deadline could allow constituents more time to find the money.

“This is our first time experiencing this, and if our county treasurer finds it in his heart to try to help the citizens by extending it 30 days then we need to honor that, because these are our citizens as well,” she said.

Several of the supervisors were disappointed that Pfeiffer, who had been asked to attend the meeting to answer any questions from the board, was not present Tuesday night.

District 5 Supervisor Robert Saunders Jr. made the motion to approve of the extension, which was seconded by Tyree. The motion passed unanimously.