Council and staff of the City of Kimberley are working on various ways to provide financial assistance to residents. Bulletin file

City of Kimberley working on financial assistance for utility fees and other payments

The City of Kimberley intends to provide some financial relief for residents and businesses affected by the pandemic and social distancing.

Staff and Council are looking at a number of ways to assist those facing financial challenges, among them:

Providing two additional months to pay City utilities;

Temporary termination of water, sewer and solid waste fees of vacant commercial and residential property

The City will also be watching for changes they expect to provincial legislation. The province is allowing property tax deferral for residents that qualify; reducing school taxes by 50 per cent for businesses and light industrial property, and businesses with a payroll over $500,000 can defer their Employer Health Tax payments until September 30, 2020. City staff will monitor these expected changes to provincial legislation allowing for flexibility in how and when the City must apply penalties for unpaid property tax balances.

The province currently allows for property tax deferral for residents that meet the qualification criteria. The program offers a low interest loan program to help homeowners pay their annual property taxes o their principal residence. Payment can be deferred until the home is old or can be repaid earlier. The cost of the loan is a reasonable interest charge and an admin fee that would be paid to the province.

Eligible property owners include those 55 years or older and families with children under 18 at home.

Council intends to take additional steps in the coming weeks to give two additional months to pay water, sewer and garbage fees for the April to June billing period by pushing the penalty date back from June 10 to August 10. Watch for details on your utility invoices coming out in mid-April.

Property owners whose commercial or residential property will be vacant for an extended period of time can make written application to the City for the termination of water, sewer and garbage (if collected by the city) charges for the team of the vacancy.

City staff will stay on top of all provincial and federal initiatives resulting from the COVID – 19 crisis and will provide updates as they become available.

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