Council reduced the amount of municipal property taxes payable in 2020 by more than $906,000, to ease the tax load on both residents and businesses in a special meeting of council April 15. (Caitlin Clow - Vernon Morning Star)

Council reduced the amount of municipal property taxes payable in 2020 by more than $906,000, to ease the tax load on both residents and businesses in a special meeting of council April 15. (Caitlin Clow - Vernon Morning Star)

COVID-19: Vernon council offers one-time grant for taxpayers

City of Vernon reduces property taxes payable by more than $906K amid pandemic

The City of Vernon has reduced 2020 municipal property taxes by more than $906,000 in its establishment of a one-time grant program in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

In a special council meeting April 15, council moved the one-time grant that will ease the tax load on both residences and businesses. The grant will see all municipal property taxpayers receive a break equivalent to 2.1 per cent of the 2020 municipal property, due Sept. 1, 2020.

“This is a very difficult time,” Mayor Victor Cumming said. “Our routines have been disrupted and aspects of our lives have shifted. For many, this has included a significant shift in finances, so council has taken a very close look at what can be done at a municipal level to help our citizens and businesses financially, while also maintaining the operation of our core services and the health and safety of our community.”

This automatic grant for residential property owners in Vernon is on top of any additional programs announced by the provincial and federal government in response to the pandemic.

“We have already seen the provincial and federal governments announce significant grant, income replacement, tax deferment and stimulus programs for individuals and businesses,” the mayor said.

“However, to date, we have not yet seen any programs that offer aid to municipalities,” he said. “Council has made these modest changes to provide some relief for local taxpayers where we can.”

Business owners must enter a partnering agreement with the city to receive the grant. This agreement will ensure the directives of Provincial Health Officer Dr. Bonnie Henry and the provincial government will be adhered to, including social distancing and not re-selling essential goods and services.

The contract will cause businesses to enforce, and allow the city to enforce, these measures to ensure they are followed.

The grant will be included in the Financial Plan Amendment Bylaw, which is still to come.

Property taxes will maintain a penalty of 10 per cent for those paid after the due date of Sept. 1.

The City of Vernon will continue to remain open for as long as it can throughout the pandemic to support residents and businesses and “remain well-positioned to implement a robust community and business recovery program.”

All core services, such as police, emergency responders, water reclamation, roads, development, engineering, building services, fleet, financial services, information services, parks and support to council will also remain open.

Council also authorized the mayor to send letters to the province, the Regional District of North Okanagan, the Regional Hospital District, BC Assessment, the Downtown Vernon Association, Okanagan Regional Library and the Municipal Finance Authority requesting consideration in adjusting the municipal tax remittance dates to the end of September.

“As we know, the circumstances of the COVID-19 pandemic continue to change quickly,” Mayor Cumming said. “Council and administration continue to monitor the situation closely and take our direction from the provincial and federal governments, making adjustments as necessary to protect our citizens, businesses, visitors and employees.”

READ MORE: COVID-19: Vernon Tim Hortons outlet to reopen for takeout

READ MORE: Vernon hospital campaign funds contribute during COVID-19 pandemic


@caitleerach
Caitlin.clow@vernonmorningstar.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Coronavirus

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Kerri and Kevin Black are highlighted for their volunteer work with the Carr's Landing Community and Recreation Association. (Contributed)
Lake Country couple’s passion to make a difference

Spotlight on Carr’s Landing Community and Recreation Association volunteers

Pink Shirt Day’s anti-bullying messaging on Feb. 24 should be understood every day of the year. (Contributed)
COLUMN: Millennial’s guide to online trolls, bullies

Messages of Pink Shirt Day should be front of mind all year long, especially online

B.C. provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry wears shoes designed in her honour, as she views her image at the Murals of Gratitude exhibition in Vancouver, on July 3, 2020. (Darryl Dyck - The Canadian Press)
Celebrating Vernon women in leadership this International Women’s Day

Pandemic highlights women excelling in critical response roles

Mya Kondor, owner and trainer of Canines and Co. in Kelowna. (Brendan Shykora - Morning Star)
VIDEO: Kelowna dog school offers puppy socialization classes amid COVID-19

Canines and Co. has adapted to the pandemic to provide training essential to puppies’ development

Providing seniors with tablets in order to stay connected is just one of the services offered by the Lake Country Health Planning Society. (Literacy Alliance of the Shuswap Society photo)
Support helps Lake Country society reduce COVID impacts on mental health

District grants funding to Health Planning Society

Abbotsford’s Kris Collins turned to TikTok out of boredom when the provincial COVID-19 lockdown began in March 2020. She now has over 23 million followers on the video app. Photo: Submitted
Internet famous: Abbotsford’s Kris Collins is a TikTok comedy queen

Collins has found surprise stardom alone with a phone

Chase RCMP held two men involved in drunken disturbances overnight in their detachment’s cells on Feb. 6. (File Photo)
Chase RCMP hold two men involved in drunken disturbances overnight

The two seperate incidents took place less than an hour apart.

Kamloops Fire Rescue battled a landfill fire which belched toxic smoke into the air on Feb. 27. (City of Kamloops Photo)
Fire at Kamloops landfill sends thick black smoke into the air

Firefighters made slow progress on the fire throughout the morning.

A Vancouver restaurant owner was found guilty of violating B.C.’s Human Rights Code by discriminating against customers on the basis of their race. (Pixabay)
Vancouver restaurant owner ordered to pay $4,000 to customers after racist remark

Referring to patrons as ‘you Arabs’ constitutes discrimination under B.C.’s Human Rights Code, ruling deems

Approximate location of the vehicle incident. (Google Maps)
Vehicle incident blocking Coquihalla traffic in both directions

Both directions of traffic stopped due to vehicle incident

(HelloKelowna - Twitter)
West Kelowna billboard bearing anti-vaccine messaging deemed misleading

Ad Standards investigated the billboard, noting a lack of evidence to support the messaging

Baldy Mountain Resort is temporarily closed following the death of a resort family member. Pictured above is a sunrise at the resort, Feb. 19, 2021. (Baldy Mountain Resort/Facebook)
Baldy Mountain ski hill closed following death of resort family member

Authorities currently investigating, resort set to reopen Sunday, Feb. 27

RCMP. (Phil McLachlan/Capital News)
Chase RCMP arrest intoxicated man running into highway traffic

The man was wanted on several warrents in Alberta; was held overnight but released

Nanaimo children’s author and illustrator Lindsay Ford’s latest book is ‘Science Girl.’ (Photo courtesy Lindsay Ford)
B.C. children’s writer encourages girls to pursue the sciences in new book

Lindsay Ford is holding a virtual launch for latest book, ‘Science Girl’

Most Read