April 29, 2020
Economic Stimulus and Financial Sustainability 25 Point Action Plan:
Community Support Pillar
NELSON, BC – The Mayor and Council’s Economic Stimulus and Financial Sustainability 25 Point Action Plan focuses on three pillars: 1) Financial Plan, Fees & Taxation, 2) Economic Stimulus Program and 3) Community Support. Council released details of the Financial Plan, Fees and Taxation pillar on Monday, April 27th and will be releasing details of the Economic Stimulus Program on Thursday, April 30th.
Today, Council is releasing details of the Community Support pillar. Under this pillar, Council is thoughtfully responding to what has been heard from the Nelson community, including local businesses. Council is using its available financial tools to enhance the provincial and federal government relief packages for businesses and residents.
“We know that many residents and businesses are facing financial hardship from the impacts of COVID-19,” said Mayor Dooley. “By deferring certain payments to the City until the provincial and federal programs fully kick in will provide extra support for those who really need it, while maintaining the financial sustainability of the City. However, we need those businesses that are able to pay their taxes by July 2nd, to do so.” Council’s Community Support program includes:
- Adoption of the provincial property tax framework.
- Promotion of the provincial residential and business property tax deferral program.
- Waiving certain fees and penalties and extending due dates for Water & Sewer and Nelson Hydro bill payments.
- Creating repayment plan options for those facing financial hardship due to COVID-19.
- Waiving all fees and charges relating to commercial outdoor patios, sidewalk rentals and business signage for 2020.
Council’s measures build upon the unprecedented financial support programs being offered by the provincial and federal governments. The federal program is currently valued at $82 billion, and the B.C. government is providing an additional $5 billion in income supports, tax relief and funding for people, businesses and services in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. The provincial government’s COVID-19 Supports for Businesses and Individuals in B.C. information web page outlines over 40 programs that are available to support all sectors of our communities. https://www2.gov.bc.ca/assets/gov/employment-business-and-economic-development/business-management/small-business/covid-19_small_business_supports.pdf
The province has determined the change in school taxation rates reduces most commercial property tax bills by an average of 25%. The province has also pushed the penalty date for property taxes out to October 1st, for most businesses and not-for-profit organizations. Class 2 businesses (utilities) and residential property owners will still need to pay their property taxes, in full, by July 2nd to avoid the 10% penalty. Under the current provincial deferral programs, many homeowners are able to defer their taxes; this includes a person over 55, a surviving spouse of any age, a person with a disability and a parent or step-parent supporting a child.
“Nelson residents considering deferring property taxes under the provincial program must apply online through the Provincial Tax Deferral website,” says Chief Financial Officer Colin McClure. “For individuals or businesses looking to manage other City payments such as utility and hydro bills, they can contact City Hall to discuss options.”
Provincial Tax Deferment:
For detailed information on the Provincial Tax Deferment Program, visit www.sbr.gov.bc.ca/rpt. All deferment applications and renewals must be completed online. If you have questions, please call 1-888-355-2700 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
City Hall Contact Information: email@example.com or (250) 352-5511
Mayor and Council’s Economic Stimulus and Financial Sustainability 25 Point Action Plan also focuses strongly on economic stimulus by targeting three key areas: capital infrastructure projects, business improvements and housing. Full details will be released on April 30th.
See Addendum Below – Community Support Pillar
Mayor John Dooley – (250) 352-8236
Chief Financial Officer, Colin McClure – firstname.lastname@example.org
ADDENDUM – Community Support Pillar
- The period for penalties and disconnect fees on electrical bills will be extended until June 30th; after this time a customer demonstrating financial hardship will be able to roll any unpaid electrical bill into an equal payment plan over the next 12 months. Renters/lessors can only do this with the agreement of their landlord.
- The period for Water & Sewer discount will be extended to May 15; after this time a customer demonstrating financial hardship will be able to roll any unpaid Water & Sewer into a quarterly payment plan over the next 12 months. Renters/lessors can only do this with the agreement of their landlord.
- Outdoor patio rental fees will be waived for 2020.
- All fees for sidewalk rentals and signage will be waived for 2020.
- The provincial property tax framework will be adopted which waives the 10% penalty for Class 4,5,6, and 8 businesses if property taxes paid before October 1, 2020. Many homeowners will be able to defer taxes under the provincial tax deferral programs, this includes:
- A person 55 or older during the current year
- A surviving spouse of any age
- A person with a disability
- A parent or step-parent supporting a child