Average Vernon homeowner will get $33 off tax bill as pandemic response - InfoNews

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Average Vernon homeowner will get $33 off tax bill as pandemic response

Image Credit: ADOBE STOCK
April 16, 2020 - 5:30 PM

The average Vernon homeowner will get a $33 reduction in this year's property tax bill.

The saving is part of a one-time grant program that will automatically deduct 2.1 per cent from the municipal portion of all residential tax bills.

For the average assessed residential property, the municipal portion of a tax bill will be approximately $1,552 before the grant, meaning the 2.1 per cent discount would be roughly $33.

The grant was approved by council April 15, along with an extension until Sept. 1 on the due date when the bill has to be paid. The 2.1 per cent deduction will cost the City $906,000 with the funds coming from unspent money from 2019.

"This is a very difficult time," Vernon Mayor Victor Cumming said in a media release. "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."

The 2.1 per cent grant will automatically be deducted from the municipal portion of a tax bill, not from the total amount, for residential residents. Businesses will still receive the discount but provincial law requires an extra step whereby they need to agree to enforce COVID-19 guidelines from the province before the deduction is made.

"This event is impacting everyone. Municipalities across Canada are experiencing dramatic reductions in revenue due to the pandemic, which could push many municipalities towards what would effectively be bankruptcy or insolvency. Therefore, we must be cautious about our decisions," the mayor said. "Council has made these modest changes to provide some relief for local taxpayers where we can."

Tax bills are scheduled to be sent out sometime towards the end of May.

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