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

Comments are closed

Just Posted

Okanagan Science Centre open with pandemic safety measures

The Vernon centre has also added four new entries to its summer camp lineup

QUIZ: A celebration of dogs

These are the dog days of summer. How much do you know about dogs?

Pilot project aims to boost entrepreneurial women in the Okanagan

W Venture, a collaborative project, is open for applications until the end of July

Police searching for missing Lake Country man

David Anthony Jenken, 65, was reported missing Friday and was last seen on June 28

Vernon high school volleyball player makes national team

Liam Remple has been named to the U19 Men’s Team Canada Volleyball roster

VIDEO: Musqueam Chief captures captivating footage of bald eagle catching meal

‘This is why we have chosen to live here since time immemorial,’ Chief Wayne Sparrow’s nephew says

Police ramp up efforts to get impaired drivers off B.C. roads this summer

July is dedicated to the Summer CounterAttack Impaired Driving Campaign

Migrant workers stage multi-city action for full status amid COVID-19 risks

‘COVID-19 has exacerbated an existing crisis’

Shuswap resident spots waterspout near Salmon Arm

The rare weather event was spotted early in the morning on July 4.

PHOTOS: B.C.’s top doc picks up personalized Fluevog shoes, tours mural exhibition

Murals of Gratitude exhibit includes at least one portrait of Henry alongside paintings of health-care workers

Okanagan school drops ‘Rebels’ sports team name, citing links with U.S. Civil War

Name and formerly-used images “fly in the face” of the district’s human rights policy, says board chair

Seymour Arm landslide interrupts drinking water to 500 people

The July 3 slide damaged a water system and a logging road.

In troubled times: Independence Day in a land of confusion

Buffeted by invisible forces and just plain worn out, the United States of America celebrates its 244th birthday

Stop enforcing sex work laws during COVID-19, advocates say

There are provisions in Canada’s prostitution laws that make workers immune from prosecution, but not from arrest

Most Read