Coronavirus Chicago: Mayor Lori Lightfoot extends business taxes, ticket payments during pandemic

CHICAGO (WLS) -- Many Chicago businesses are experiencing economic pressures to make payroll and pay rent due to the economic impact of COVID-19.

In an effort to help small businesses, Mayor Lightfoot announced Thursday that the city will extend tax payment due dates until June 1.

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The extension will allow retail and commercial businesses additional time to make payment on restaurant, hotel accommodations, bottled water, check bag, ground transportation, parking and amusement taxes for the months of February, March and April.

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Businesses are still expected to collect these taxes but under the extension they are being granted an additional 30 days to and additional time to address more urgent needs facing their operations.

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In addition to the deferral of business tax remittances, the city will also extend the temporary suspension of late fees and defaults on payment plans, including city tickets, utility bills, parking and red-light citations, booting and other non-public safety relates violations until June 1. There will be no new interest accumulated on current compliance plans, no debt collection efforts and a further extension of the deadline for city debt checks on transportation network provider and taxi drivers, the mayor's office said.

Thursday's announcement is the second tax remittance due date extension offered by the City to the business community since the coronavirus outbreak.

Last month, Mayor Lightfoot extended remittances until April 30 when the first Stay-at-Home Order was announced.

As a reminder, all motorists are still required to pay for metered parking during the pandemic.

On Thursday, Chicago also launched new financial help resources online for small businesses, nonprofits and families.

The city treasurer's website has been revamped to offer 24/7 access to the financial advice and assistance that residents and businesses may need during the COVID-19 pandemic.

It offers tips for handling credit card bills, mortgages, student loans, utility expenses, taxes and more.

City Treasurer Melissa Conyears-Ervin's Office is also hosting online information sessions to answer questions many Chicago residents might have during this time. The first session of the Crisis Cast is "Paycheck to Paycheck" and it can be found on Apple Podcasts.
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