Harrisburg, PA – (April 20, 2020) Sen. Michele Brooks announced that a comprehensive COVID-19 response measure, Senate Bill 841, which she supported, was signed into law today, allowing notaries public to notarize documents remotely and for local governments to meet remotely and to waive penalties and fees for taxpayers when they submit their property tax payments.
“While the Governor’s ‘stay-at-home’ order remains in place for now, this measure helps enable residents and businesses to conduct additional transactions and sales, and helps local government to take official actions, as well as permits them to extend the discount period for property taxes, and waive penalties for late property tax payments,” Brooks said.
Specifically, Act 15 of 2020 extends the ability of notaries to notarize documents remotely. A notary public would still be required to confirm an individual’s identity and reasonably identify records, and an audio/visual recording of the notarial act and all related interactions would be required.
The new e-notary option was part of a broader bill designed to help local governments operate during the COVID-19 pandemic by allowing them to conduct remote meetings, extend property tax deadlines and waive penalties for late property tax payments. The law also reauthorizes the Pennsylvania Health Care Cost Containment Council and requires the panel to prepare a report on the effect of the COVID-19 disaster emergency on healthcare facilities. The law also provides for businesses who apply to participate in the Educational Improvement Tax Credit (EITC) program to delay their contributions to the end of the business tax year.
For the most up-to-date information on COVID-19, Pennsylvanians should visit https://www.pa.gov/guides/responding-to-covid-19/.
CONTACT: Diane McNaughton