The 2020 tax increase for Port Hardy residents and businesses will be minimal.
The District of Port Hardy announced that council has approved amending the financial plan to reduce the taxation increase for 2020 from 4.2 per cent to 1.97.
Chief Administrative Officer Allison McCarrick stated that due to the eight month logging strike and then the COVID-19 pandemic hitting right afterwards, “this was a way to actually make a financial difference to our taxpayers.”
She added council also agreed to defer utility payment deadlines and tax date penalty deadlines.
Port Hardy Mayor Dennis Dugas confirmed what McCarrick had said was the reason for lowering the tax rate, noting that council wanted to “look at ways and means to help our businesses and residents because of what’s been going on with the logging strike and now COVID-19, so staff looked through the books for ways to do it.”
Dugas added that for this year council decided to reduce the level of taxations going into the district’s reserves, but warned they wouldn’t be able to do this every year as they “have to have money in the reserves.”