Gov. Reynolds suspends most evictions in Iowa, cancels property tax deadline

Gov. Kim Reynolds delivers updates on COVID-19 in Iowa. — video still

On Friday morning, Gov. Kim Reynolds signed an additional State Public Health Emergency Declaration, which will temporarily stop most evictions in Iowa. The suspension of evictions applies to all rental properties, including those in manufactured home communities or mobile home parks.

The change took effect as soon as the governor signed the declaration, and is scheduled to last until 11:59 p.m. on April 16.

Only those who took possession of a rental property by criminal means — the declaration specifies “by force, intimidation, fraud, or stealth” — will face eviction as long as the declaration is in effect. The governor has the power to extend the declaration beyond its scheduled end date.

The declaration contains other provisions, some of which are largely technical, but at least three of them will have a wider impact on Iowans.

First, the declaration suspends the March 31 deadline for paying property taxes. Property taxes are still being collected, but for the duration of the declaration, the state will not charge interest or impose penalties on property owners who fail to pay their taxes by the original deadline.

Second, the declaration also allows bars and restaurants with liquor licenses to sell unopened bottle of liquor and wine on a take-out or delivery basis. State taxes that restaurants and bars pay on liquor and beer are also suspended by the proclamation.

Third, the declaration allows local governments and state agencies to substitute online meetings that are open to the public for open meetings that state law mandates be conducted in person.

This is the second State Public Health Emergency Declaration Reynolds has issued.

On Tuesday, she signed a declaration that included provisions banning public gatherings of more than ten people, closing theaters and other entertainment venues, closing bars and restricting restaurant service to take-out and delivery.

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