Nelson city council will waive certain fees and deadlines to help residents get through the COVID-19 pandemic.
This is addition to taxation and budgetary changes was announced last week.
The period to obtain a discount for water and sewer fees will be extended to May 15. After this time any customer demonstrating financial hardship will be able to roll any unpaid water and sewer into a quarterly payment plan over the next 12 months. Renters and lessors can only do this with the agreement of their landlord.
Fees for patio rentals, sidewalk rentals and signage will be waived for 2020.
Nelson Hydro will extend its penalty period for electrical bills until June 30, after which time customers demonstrating financial hardship will be given the opportunity to convert electrical bills into an equal payment plan over the next 12 months.
Otherwise, all residents must, as usual, pay their taxes as of July 2 or face a 10 per cent penalty.
Some residents may be eligible to apply for deferral of their property taxes under the provincial government program designed for people 55 or older, surviving spouses of any age, and people with disabilities. The deferral may be also be available under very specific circumstances for a parent or step-parent supporting a child.
“We know that many residents and businesses are facing financial hardship from the impacts of COVID-19,” said Mayor John Dooley. “By deferring certain payments to the city until the provincial and federal programs fully kick in will provide extra support for those who really need it, while maintaining the financial sustainability of the city. However, we need those businesses that are able to pay their taxes by July 2 to do so.”
The city is also supporting a provincial government program that will see a 25 per cent reduction in school taxes for businesses along with a delay for payment of late fees until Oct. 1.