The City of Colwood has approved a zero per cent tax increase for 2020. (Black Press Media file photo)

The City of Colwood has approved a zero per cent tax increase for 2020. (Black Press Media file photo)

Colwood freezes municipal tax rate, relaxes late payment penalties

Some capital projects still expected to proceed

Municipal tax rates in Colwood will not be increasing and residents will have a little more time to pay their taxes without a penalty this year.

Noting financial stresses that have been brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic, Colwood council approved a zero per cent municipal tax increase for 2020. A plan to align commercial tax rates with those of the region over the next five years will also be brought forward to “support businesses in a strong economic recovery,” according to a statement on the City’s website.

READ ALSO: Colwood moving ahead with tax relief plans for residents, businesses

For residential properties, taxes will be due on July 2 of this year but there will be no late payment penalty for residential properties until Aug. 1 and then Oct. 1. The penalties will be five per cent in August and another five per cent in October.

The City of Colwood is encouraging residents to stay home and safe, and recommends paying taxes online or by mail. Access to pay at City Hall will be by appointment only.

The tax rate for 2020 was originally proposed to be 3.5 per cent. In order to bring it down to zero, service level increases will be deferred until 2021. The one per cent that is usually set aside for future sustainable infrastructure replacement will be held back this year and several transfers to reserves will be delayed until 2021, according to the City.

Residents can expect current levels of service to be maintained while following direction from the provincial health officer with respect to pandemic response and recovery.

READ ALSO: Colwood mayor advocates for zero per cent tax lift for 2020 in light of COVID-19

In 2021, the Colwood Financial Plan projects a return to the 3.5 per cent tax increase that was originally proposed for this year.

When it comes to planned capital projects, the City said many of them are funded by grants and are expected to proceed. Some examples of these projects are a roundabout at Latoria Road and Veterans Memorial Parkway, road upgrades at Allandale Road and Veterans Memorial Parkway, design work for upgrades along portions of Metchosin and Sooke roads, and sidewalk, cycling and crosswalk programs.

shalu.mehta@blackpress.ca


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