Sidney councillors will hold a special meeting Monday to consider additional tax relief measures for businesses. (Black Press Media File)

Sidney to hold special meeting to discuss additional tax relief measures

Sidney scheduled the meeting after new provincial measures

Sidney councillors will hold a special meeting Monday after the province announced new measures to help business owners struggling from the effects of COVID-19.

Andrew Hicik, Sidney’s director of corporate services, said in a staff report accompanying the special meeting scheduled for 6 p.m. Monday, that the provincial announcement dated April 16 “warrants” a reconsideration of the moves councillors had made on April 14, when they considered six options for granting tax relief to local owners of commercial properties.

Councillors concluded the discussion by asking for public feedback on two options: one would reduce taxes for commercial and light industrial properties by five per cent, the other by 10 per cent, with both options reducing the general tax increase to zero per cent for all property classes.

Council also moved ahead with plans that would move the property tax due date from July 2 to Sept. 15, “subject to potential declarations” from the province on April 17.

RELATED: Sidney seeks additional feedback on business tax relief options

The province made news on April 16 when it announced several moves around property taxes aimed at reducing the overall property tax bill for commercial properties by 25 per cent. The province also effectively moved the final due date for various properties including those for most businesses to Sept. 30. While the province has not changed the actual due date, it has moved the penalty date to Oct. 1.

In light of these developments, Hicik said council needs to reconsider two aspects. First, if Sidney should provide additional relief to owners of commercial properties now that the province has done so. Hicki notes that not all communities will benefit equally from the provincial goal of cutting the overall property tax bill by 25 per cent.

“With a zero per cent general tax increase, the average [commercial] property in Sidney will be paying approximately 18 per cent less in property taxes than in 2019,” he said. While this figure falls short of the provincial target, Hicik said it may be an indication that average businesses were already paying less than the provincial average.

“Or it may simply be an indication that the assessed value of the average commercial property in Sidney increased at a rate greater than the [provincial] average,” he said.

If council were to consider additional tax relief for business (and perhaps residential), “it is strong recommended that a firm choice be made among the options presented above,” or an alternative option. “The chosen option may then be advertised for public input, with the results of that consultation available for the April 27 [council] meeting,” he said.

The second aspect concerns the question of whether Sidney should move up the tax due date for residential properties from the previously recommended date of Sept. 15.

Hicik’s report recommends retaining July 2 as the official due date for property taxes, but establishing different penalty dates for different property categories. Sidney hopes that residents who can afford it will pay their property taxes on time, despite the absence of a penalty.

Broadly, residential properties (which account for 75 per cent of all properties in Sidney) would face a five per cent penalty for outstanding amounts after July 31 and an additional five per cent after Dec. 15. Various commercial and light industrial properties would face a five per cent penalty for an outstanding amount after Sept. 30 and an additional five per cent after Dec. 15.


Like us on Facebook and follow @wolfgang_depner

wolfgang.depner@peninsulanewsreview.com

Coronavirus

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Comments are closed

Just Posted

Falling oak tree causes minor damage to Langford home

Tree damages garden and gutters of home on Lindsay Place

Residents to start moving into first of 100 new affordable homes in Langford

Construction underway on second phase of affordable Indigenous housing project in Langford

Saanich police looking to identify suspect in Brydon Park assault

Victim confronted suspect about the way he was treating his dog

The pandemic is widening Canada’s workplace gender gap

Gender pay gap is incentivizing fathers to work while mothers watch children, a new B.C. study has found

Greater Victoria Crime Stoppers wanted list for the week of July 7

Greater Victoria Crime Stoppers is seeking the public’s help in locating the… Continue reading

POLL: Would you get a vaccine for COVID-19 when it is available?

With the number of positive COVID-19 tests skyrocketing across much of the… Continue reading

Man found dead on Okanagan trail identified as Hollywood actor

GoFundMe campaign launched for man found dead at summit of Spion Kop

3 people dead in Prince George motel fire

Fire personnel believe the blaze was suspicious although investigation in early stages

B.C. sets terms to review police, mental health, race relations

MLAs to recommend Police Act changes by May 2021

Feds announce $8.3M to deal with ‘ghost’ fishing gear in B.C. waters

Ghost gear accounts for up to 70 per cent of all macro-plastics in the ocean by weight

Almost 99% less land in B.C. burned this year compared to 2018

2018 was the worst year on record for wildfires

Most Read