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Seattle Mayor Freezes Business Evictions As County Asks For Property Tax Relief

Seattle Mayor Freezes Business Evictions As County Asks For Property Tax Relief
A temporary moratorium suspends small business and nonprofit tenant evictions related to nonpayment of rent due to the expiration of lease terms during the moratorium.

Seattle Mayor Jenny Durkan on Wednesday signed an emergency order temporarily halting evictions of small businesses and nonprofit tenants.

The order is effective immediately and will be in place for at least 60 days. It comes in addition to the mayor’s March 10 Small Business Recovery Package and an order to halt residential evictions in the city. 

“We are facing the challenge of our lifetime,” Durkan said in a press release. “We are taking unprecedented steps to protect both residents and small employers from the impact of this crisis. The last several weeks have devastated our small businesses and we know the crisis will be felt for months.” 

The temporary moratorium suspends small business and nonprofit tenant evictions related to nonpayment of rent due to the expiration of lease terms during the moratorium. Independently owned businesses with fewer than 50 employees per establishment, state nonprofits and 501(c)(3) nonprofits are eligible. It also prevents small businesses from incurring late fees, interest or other charges due to late payment.

Durkan also deferred utility payments for customers impacted by the novel coronavirus, which causes the disease COVID-19, and is creating an Arts Recovery Package.

King County Executive Dow Constantine and the King County Council asked Gov. Jay Inslee to delay property tax payments for residential and commercial customers. Inslee has indicated that there soon will be a presidential declaration allowing more people to claim unemployment, according to a report by NBC affiliate King5.