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The following is the opinion of former state lawmaker Vic Williams, who is a candidate for the Pima County Supervisor in District 1. Learn more about him at vote4vic.com. Tucson Local Media welcomes guest commentaries from candidates for office. Submit them to executive editor Jim Nintzel at jimn@tucsonlocalmedia.com.

The property tax deadline must be pushed back 30 days in Arizona! Home and business property owners have been left holding the bag of the unintended consequences of the Stay-at-Home orders implemented by the Pima County Board of Supervisors and other governments throughout the state. 

The so-called Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security Act—better known as the $2.3 trillion CARES Act—passed by our federal government will not be able to assist home and business property owners in time—or at all in many cases. 

We have brought our economy to a grinding halt. According to the Wall Street Journal 10 years of spectacular job growth has been nearly wiped out in four weeks. It’s unreasonable to ask our property taxpayers to be timely on May 1 with their second installment payment when out-of-touch elected officials and bureaucrats have stripped their ability to earn and bring in revenue.   

With the stay at home orders we have effectively stopped people from making a living. As a commercial landlord who deals with dozens of small business owners, every day I see the effects firsthand. 

I am fortunate as a successful business owner with nearly 30 years under my belt. I have been able to pay my property taxes on time. However, there are 30 million small businesses throughout the United States. They are the backbone of new job creation in this country with most of them employing one to three people. Many of these businesses are newer start-ups and do not have the economic legs to endure this governmental imposed shut-down of their business. 

Our elected officials have acted out of fear and emotion rather than making informed decisions on facts and data. This has left hundreds of thousands, if not millions in the state in peril of financial ruin. As a former state legislator who served in the Arizona House of Representatives during the very worst days of the Great Recession, from 2009 until 2013, I was accustomed to taking bold and swift action. A special session will need to be called by Gov. Doug Ducey to fix this problem. When I served, we did this several times. We acted swiftly, we acted decisively throughout those perilous economic times. 

Pushing the property tax payment date back will not cost the state a nickel. It is not a handout. But it will allow business and residential property owners a moment to gather themselves, as Arizona tries to re-open the economy. 

This needs to happen expeditiously in order to remove uncertainty in an already troubled state-of-affairs that most Arizonans find themselves. 

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