City Working on Financial Relief for Residents and Businesses
The City of Kimberley is exploring ways to provide financial support for residents and businesses during the COVID – 19 pandemic. Staff and Council aim to provide tax and utility relief for residents and businesses facing financial challenges. Here is a brief synopsis of those (including Provincial) initiatives. Details below.
- Providing two additional months to pay City utilities;
- Temporary termination of water, sewer, and solid waste fees for vacant commercial and residential property;
- Monitoring expected changes to Provincial legislation;
- Province allowing property tax deferral for residents that qualify;
- Province reducing school tax by 50% for businesses and light-industrial property;
- Businesses with a payroll over $500,000 can defer their Employer Health Tax payments until September 30th, 2020.
In the coming weeks, Council will take steps to give two additional months to pay water, sewer and garbage fees for the April to June billing period by pushing the penalty date back from June 10th to August 10th. Details of the change will be noted on the Utility Invoices that will be mailed in mid-April.
Property owners whose commercial or residential property will be vacant for an extended period of time can make written application to the City for the termination of water, sewer and garbage (if collected by the City) charges for the term of the vacancy. Please contact City Hall at 250-427-5311 or firstname.lastname@example.org for full details and to request an application form.
City staff will continue to monitor expected changes to Provincial legislation, allowing for flexibility in how and when the City must apply penalties for unpaid property tax balances.
The Province currently allows for property tax deferral for residents that meet the qualification criteria. The program offers a low interest loan program to help homeowners pay their annual property taxes on their principal residence. Payment can be deferred until the home is sold or can be repaid earlier. The cost of the loan is a reasonable interest charge and administration fee that would be paid to the Province.
Eligible property owners include those 55 years of age or older and families with children at home under the age of 18. Full details on the Property Tax Deferment process can be found on the Province’s website by clicking HERE.
The Province announced yesterday that business and light-industry property classes will see their school taxes cut in half. In addition, businesses with a payroll over $500,000 can defer their Employer Health Tax payments until September 30th, 2020.
City staff are monitoring Provincial and Federal initiatives resulting from the COVID – 19 crisis and will provide updates as they become available.