VANCOUVER (NEWS 1130) — A $5 million COVID-19 support and recovery plan that includes extending the municipal property tax deadline in Coquitlam has been approved by council.
Coquitlam extended the 2020 utility and property tax deadline for all property types to Sept. 30. The city will charge a five-per-cent penalty on any unpaid balances after that date – half the usual amount.
“While years of prudent fiscal management have placed Coquitlam in a sound financial position, the pandemic is having an effect due to delayed utility and tax payments, and the loss of recreation fees, casino funding, and other revenue,” says a city release.
“The city has already had to make a number of difficult operational decisions to address the potential operating budget deficit of $2.5 to $6.5 million, including a temporary hiring freeze, reduced discretionary spending, and the temporary layoff of employees.”
Coquitlam is moving forward with a broad COVID-19 response plan that includes immediate relief for taxpayers and a funding allocation for a community recovery plan aimed at providing targeted and meaningful support to those in need. Read more here: https://t.co/0QWRo8FQZ3 pic.twitter.com/uGdVmzMjTw
— City of Coquitlam (@cityofcoquitlam) May 6, 2020
The city property tax increase for 2020 is, on average, 2.64 per cent across all classes. Tax notices will still be sent in June, along with a request that property owners who can afford to do so pay by July 2 to support city services.
Council also approved allocating $5 million in preliminary funding to develop the recovery plan, with both short-term and long-term support for residents, businesses, and non-profit organizations.
“A host of ideas are being considered, including targeted grants for non-profit organizations, reduced or waived city fees, technology investments and marketing to support local businesses,” the city says.
Coquitlam will also seek federal and provincial stimulus funding for capital projects to promote economic recovery.
The Community Support and Recovery Plan is meant to provide relief for all and help the city recover financially from the pandemic.