ST. CLOUD -- The Stearns County Board of Commissioners is offering some relief for homeowners and small business owners who can't afford to make their first-half property tax payment this year.

The board voted 5-0 to suspend late penalties for two months because of the coronavirus pandemic. However, there are three exceptions to the relief in Stearns County.

Properties with escrows, taxpayers whose bill is larger than $100,000 and utilities are exempt from the penalty suspension and will be held to the normal rates.

Sherburne County has also made revisions to its late payment penalties. Commissioners agreed 5-0 to reduce the penalty for unpaid taxes between May 16 and June 30 to 1% and the penalty from July 1 to July 31 to 2%.

Both boards agreed to revisit the issue at a later date to determine whether revisions need to be made moving forward.

Benton County commissioners will discuss the matter at their May 5 meeting.

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