COLUMBUS (WCMH) — The City of Columbus announced Tuesday it is temporarily suspending collections on debts owed to the city.

The collection suspension applies to delinquent city income tax, utilities and EMS transporattion fees. The city’s income tax department will not forward new cases to the City Attorney’s office and will not mail new bills for at least 30 days.

“The COVID-19 epidemic will impact every sector of the Columbus economy, and already, small businesses and hourly workers are facing economic crisis,” said Columbus City Auditor Megan Kilgore. “Granting flexibility to taxpayers in meeting their obligations isn’t just the right thing to do, it’s economically imperative.”

Delinquent utility bills will not be referred to collection agencies for the next 30 days.

“Those who are on an existing payment plan for City-related debts will still be expected to follow their repayment plans. Individuals who cannot make payments due to COVID-19-related hardship should contact their collection agency and request to temporarily discontinue payments. The City Attorney’s Office will reassess the state of collections again in 30 days,” the city said in a statement.

“The City of Columbus does not want to make difficult times more difficult for those least able to meet the financial demands during this crisis,” said Mayor Andrew J. Ginther. “We need to provide resources and programs that support families.  Together, we will enjoy brighter days ahead.”