Here’s a round up of COVID-19 related news for 3-18-20. See our Coronavirus Resource Guide for extensive resources and information.
Commissioners Unanimously Approve $500K in Emergency Funding for Coronavirus (COVID-19)
Calling it an “unprecedented public health challenge,” Chairman Brownie Newman noted the Board of Commissioners is fully committed to Buncombe County’s response to coronavirus (COVID-19). During their meeting on March 17, Commissioners unanimously approved $500,000 to be used in ongoing efforts to prevent the spread of the pandemic. “How we respond now makes a real difference in how this plays out. Tell us what you need to mount the most effective response we can provide to protect public safety and help residents of our community get through this,” said Newman.
The funding will be used for a variety of needs such as protective equipment, school meal supplies, an Emergency Operations Center consultant, and other public safety needs. “There are things we will need to do that we don’t even know about. As the plan takes shape, let us know. We can convene as needed if there are additional resources that are needed,” added Newman.
County Permits & Inspections’ Work Continues
Buncombe County wants to reiterate that the Permitting and Inspections Department is processing permits and performing inspections. However, the building at 30 Valley St. is not open to the public. Permit holders should continue to request inspections until further notice. Permitting and inspections services can be accessed via the following:
Please note, residential plan reviews are no longer required, but permits will still be issued. Residential plan review is suspended only while our offices are closed to the public.
Register of Deeds Modifying In-Person Services
In an effort to promote social distancing to slow the spread of COVID-19 during the State of Emergency, the Register of Deeds office will be amending all in-person services.
The CDC and local health authorities recommend the use of social distancing strategies to slow the spread of this pandemic. They recommend employers establish policies such as telecommuting and online services to increase the physical distance among employees and their clients. The Buncombe County Register of Deeds office will be closed to in person services but will have all office functions available to residents and law offices online.
Recording Real Estate documents
Currently 56% of documents that are processed in Buncombe County are electronically recorded (meaning the real estate attorney never comes into the ROD office). The other documents are either mailed in or brought in person. During this State of Emergency, we strongly encourage all documents to be electronically recorded.
In an effort to help with this transition our eRecording vendor, Simplifile, has agreed to waive all startup fees and annual costs throughout the State of Emergency.
For those who want to record documents in person, they must use the new drop box outside of the office. For those who mail in documents or eRecord will not see any change in operations.
Birth, Death, and Marriage Certificates
Throughout the declared State of Emergency all certified copies of birth, death and marriage certificates will be available for purchase online only. The Buncombe County Register of Deeds office will charge you only the regular cost of the certificate, $10. There will be no surcharge for our online service or for mailing you the certificate, thus keeping you safer and us safer from spreading germs to each other. To purchase a certificate go to buncombecounty.org/birth.
Throughout the State of Emergency, marriage licenses and notary oaths will be available daily by appointment only. Since these services must be in person because we have to verify each person’s identity and see them sign, we ask that you only come in at your scheduled time and only if you are not sick. We also promise that only non-sick staff are allowed to serve you. Appointments can be made online at BuncombeCounty.org.
We are committed to providing services in a safe yet effective way for the duration of this situation. These plans are subject to change as the situation evolves. For the most up to date information on all Buncombe County services, please go to our user-friendly website at BuncombeCounty.org.
You can find more information about County closures, modified services, and online resources here.
Johnson Price Sprinkle PA explains tax deferral
In response to questions and additional information JPS has received, we’re providing this updated information regarding the IRS’s extension of payments due April 15, 2020.
The payment deferral* appears to be only for tax year 2019. This means that, at this point, 1st quarter 2020 estimated tax payments that are due April 15 will still need to be paid on time to avoid penalties.
We expect the IRS will soon release details about how the payment extension will work. At this time, most states have not yet provided relief similar to the IRS’s. As official announcements are made, JPS will provide further updates.
* Individuals will be able to defer up to $1 million, and certain corporations, including some small businesses, will be able to defer up to $10 million. For more information
SBA Updates Criteria on States for Requesting Disaster Assistance Loans for Small Businesses Impacted by Coronavirus (COVID-19)
U.S. Small Business Administration Administrator Jovita Carranza issued revised criteria for states or territories seeking an economic injury declaration related to Coronavirus (COVID-19).
The relaxed criteria will have two immediate impacts:
SBA’s Economic Injury Disaster Loans offer up to $2 million in assistance for each affected small business. These loans can provide vital economic support to small businesses to help overcome the temporary loss of revenue they are experiencing.
Process for Accessing SBA’s Coronavirus (COVID-19) Disaster Relief Lending
For additional information, please visit the SBA disaster assistance website at SBA.gov/Disaster.