City Launches Residential Grant Program to Ease Financial Burden of COVID-19

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PITT MEADOWS, BC – Last night, Council voted unanimously to introduce a one-time grant for residential taxpayers that will cover this year’s entire combined property and utility tax increase for the average single-family home of 4.52 per cent, effectively bringing it to zero percent. 

Through this grant program, a single-family home is eligible for $150 and multi-family home would be eligible for $100, available when taxes are paid. For residents who are in a better financial position or who simply want to support the City and its projects and programs, they will have the option to waive their grant.

“In these unprecedented times, we recognize that many in our community are experiencing financial hardship due to the world-wide pandemic,” says Mayor Bill Dingwall. “This one-time grant is an important investment back into our community.”

During the past month, Council, CAO Mark Roberts and the City’s Directors began extensive discussions to explore ways of off-setting the impact of this year’s property taxes in recognition of financial pressures faced by many individuals and families due to Covid-19. 

This year taxes are due July 2, 2020. In addition to the residential grant program, on next week’s agenda, Council will be considering the postponement of the property tax late penalty to October 1, 2020 for residential and farm properties, similar to the program announced by the Province for businesses. Regardless of this decision, citizens are still encouraged to try and pay their taxes by July 2 to ensure the City has sufficient cash flow to operate without borrowing from reserves.

City staff have conducted a review of capital projects and earmarked $1 million in capital projects for cancellation or scope reduction. These funds will be redirected into the COVID-19 Financial Relief Grant for residential homeowners.

“Even though the cancelled or postponed projects were initially deemed important to undertake, it was outweighed by the importance of providing the community with financial relief and to provide funding for the grant program,” says Chief Administrative Officer Mark Roberts. “Residential homeowners will receive a grant to assist in covering the 2020 budget increase of 4.52 per cent approved by Council in December.”

The COVID-19 Financial Relief Grant will be applied to every privately owned account with a Class 1 Residential designation. Class 1 properties owned by businesses are exempt from this grant program, as required by provincial legislation.

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For more information please contact:
Carolyn Baldridge,
Manager of Communications & Community Engagement
City of Pitt Meadows