Governor Jared Polis provided an update Friday on Colorado’s response to COVID-19 and announced a number of actions the state is taking to support Colorado’s economy.

“This virus has significantly impacted our economy here at home and across the world. We know this has been challenging for our local businesses and workers, and we are working to provide relief including deferral of taxes and suspension of evictions to Colorado families and individuals. These times are difficult, but they are temporary. Coloradans should rest assured that we will get through this together and we will be well-positioned for success when this all blows over,” said Governor Jared Polis.

The governor announced that the state will be taking action to provide relief from evictions, foreclosures, and utility shut-offs.

Polis also signed an executive order allowing take out of sealed alcoholic drinks for licensed establishments.

He signed an executive order allowing retailers licensed for the sale of on-premises alcohol consumption to sell, deliver or provide takeout for sealed alcoholic beverages if the customer also purchases food.

The order also suspends the requirement of a physical examination for a medical marijuana card to be issued. The prohibition of online sales for retail marijuana stores is now suspended as well. Each of these are in effect until April 18

Polis is directing the Department of Regulatory Agencies (DORA) to work with state-chartered financial institutions to address the threat of residential and commercial foreclosures and displacement.

The governor is requesting that municipal and county governments refrain from using law enforcement to carry out evictions or foreclosures against Colorado families unless there is a threat to public safety. He is also encouraging banks, credit unions, and other financial institutions holding residential or commercial mortgages to follow the lead of the Federal Housing Finance Agency and halt foreclosures and related evictions that are due to income reductions because of the COVID-19 pandemic.

In addition, the governor is requesting these financial institutions consider providing a 90 day deferment of payment for all consumer loans, including residential and commercial mortgages, refinances, auto loans, and student loans, and small business loans. The state is also requesting that all public utilities suspend service disconnections for delayed or missed payments from residential and small business consumers.

The governor is also requesting that all property owners and landlords refrain from removing tenants or mobile home owners without cause or as a result of late rent payment or minor tenancy violations through April 30, unless public safety requires it. Finally, he is asking that all property owners and landlords refrain from imposing a fee for the late payment or nonpayment of rent through the end of April.

The governor will also be directing the Colorado Department of Labor and Employment’s (CDLE) Unemployment Insurance Division to expedite claim payments during this state of emergency. CDLE has seen a ten-fold increase of claims filed from last week to this week. Coloradans can visit the Department of Labor’s website at www.coloradoui.gov for more information. To learn more about these actions and read the executive order, click here.

Gov. Polis will also be extending the income tax payment deadline for all Colorado taxpayers by 90 days until July 15, 2020, without penalty or interest. This will be similar to the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) extension, but applies to any income tax payment, regardless of the amount.

Unlike the federal government, the state is not imposing any caps on the amount of tax that can be deferred. In addition, the state will grant an extension for taxpayers who are required to make estimated income tax payments for the 2020 tax year. The governor is also directing the Department of Revenue (DOR) to coordinate with local governments that choose to extend tax payment deadlines for property, sales and use taxes.

From our sister paper The Chaffee County Times at www.chaffeecountytimes.com

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