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Port Coquitlam waives property tax increase, defers payments during pandemic

Last Updated Apr 8, 2020 at 5:07 pm PDT

FILE - Brad West said many seniors are feeling disconnected because of the COVID-19 pandemic. (Courtesy Brad West, Twitter)

Port Coquitlam council voted Tuesday to reduce the 2020 property tax increase to zero

The city originally proposed a 0.48 per cent property tax increase

Council also deferred tax and utility payments until Sept. 2

PORT COQUITLAM (NEWS 1130) — Port Coquitlam is cancelling its 2020 property tax increase and deferring payments to help residents cope through the COVID-19 pandemic.

Port Coquitlam council also voted Tuesday to defer tax and utility payments until Sept. 2, Mayor Brad West said in a video tweet.

“When you’re in a position to help people, I believe it’s important you do so,” West said. “We got our residents and businesses back, will get through this and come back stronger.”

The city originally proposed a 0.48 per cent property tax increase for 2020 for an average home assessed at $735,517.

West said Port Coquitlam will also work with other municipalities to lobby other levels of government for support to those who need it.

“I know that this is a tough time for all of us,” he added. “There are people in our community who have been laid off, there are businesses that have had to close. Port Coquitlam has seen tough times in the past and we’ll get through this the way we’ve always gone through things in the past, by working together, by supporting one another, by taking care of each other. Stay safe.”

West previously called for free hospital parking during the pandemic, while the city is offering additional help to seniors cope with the COVID-19 crisis.

A move to defer property taxes in Surrey was shot down Monday. Mayor Doug McCallum said taxes can’t be deferred because that decision is up to the province.

“I’m not going to allow you to do it. I am going to rule it out of order and the reason is very clear. We’re under a state of emergency–provincial state of emergency–we are basically being controlled by the province,” McCallum said then.

Surrey taxes are due July 2, but Coun. Linda Annis was asking the city to extend the deadline for all residents and businesses until Dec. 2.