Black Press file photo of MLA Claire Trevena

New COVID-19 supports for businesses, local governments

The Province is taking significant new steps to support B.C. businesses

The Province is providing enhanced relief for businesses by reducing most commercial property tax bills by an average of 25 per cent, along with new measures to support local governments facing temporary revenue shortfalls as a result of COVID-19.

The Province is taking significant new steps to support B.C. businesses, non-profits and other organizations through the COVID-19 pandemic by:

* further reducing the school property tax rate for commercial properties to achieve an average 25 per cent reduction in the total property tax bill for most businesses, providing up to $700 million in relief. This enhances the 50 per cent reduction to the provincial school property tax rate that was originally announced for classes 4, 5, and 6 as part of B.C.’s COVID-19 Action Plan.

* Postponing the date that late payment penalties apply for commercial properties in classes 4,5,6,7 and 8 to Oct. 1, 2020, to give businesses and landlords more time to pay their reduced property tax, without penalty.

Responding to key concerns from local governments, the Province is addressing cash flow and revenue shortfalls with new measures that provide additional support:

* authorizing local governments to borrow, interest-free, from their existing capital reserves to help pay for operating expenses, such as employee salaries.

* delaying provincial school tax remittances until the end of the year. This will provide significant relief to local governments facing cash flow issues.

* providing local governments greater flexibility to carry debt for an additional year.

* These measures will provide local governments with the resources to meet their operational costs and required remittances to regional districts, regional hospital districts, TransLink and transit authorities, BC Assessment, the Municipal Finance Authority and other taxing authorities.

This will ensure that other minor taxing authorities can count on receiving the full amount they bill to municipalities and the Province’s surveyor of taxes before Aug. 1, 2020.

Changes to British Columbia’s property tax framework complement federal measures and build on the $5 billion B.C. COVID-19 Action Plan that provides income supports, tax relief and direct funding for people, businesses and services.

For more information on B.C.’s COVID-19 Action Plan, visit: http://news.gov.bc.ca/factsheets/bc-takes-steps-to-support-people-businesses-during-covid-19-pandemic

For information about federal supports for businesses, visit: https://www.canada.ca/en/department-finance/economic-response-plan.html

For the latest medical updates, including case counts, prevention, risks and testing, visit: http://www.bccdc.ca/

Or call 1 888 COVID19 (1 888 268-4319) between 7:30 a.m. and 8 p.m., seven days a week.

Best,

North Island MLA Claire Trevena

BusinessCoronavirus

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