The Town of Oliver has deferred the due date of property taxes in an effort to provide financial relief to citizens and businesses through the summer.
The new due date of July 2 was passed by council during their April 20 special open meeting.
A one per cent late penalty will be applied on July 3, and a four per cent penalty will be applied on Oct.1. Commercial businesses will have until Sept. 30 to pay their taxes, and a penalty of five per cent will be applied Oct. 1.
“By reducing and deferring penalties, council is doing everything within their power as a local government to provide some financial relief through the summer,” said the town in a release.
Those residents who are able to meet the July 2 deadline are strongly encouraged to do so by the town, as they say they must submit payment for taxes due, on behalf of other agencies by Aug. 1, whether the funds have been revised or not.
The total payment due to the Regional District of Okanagan-Similkameen and Regional Hospital District is approximately $1.9 million.
Residents are also encouraged to look into the BC Government’s property tax deferment programs offering low-interest loans to those who qualify. Click here to read more.
In addition, the Town encouraged residents, especially affected small businesses, to look into the newly-announced federal assistance program. This federal help is expected to lower rent by 75 per cent for affected small businesses and is being provided in partnership with the provinces. It is expected this new program will be operational mid-May.
“I encourage everyone to visit the town’s COVID-19 website and follow the links to the ‘Province of BC’ and/or ‘Government of Canada’ websites for information on these recently announced programs,” said Oliver Mayor Martin Johansen.
Also, he explained that the topic of domestic farm workers continues to dominate local news and topics of discussion in the South Okanagan.
“To provide an update, I would like to recognize the BC Fruit Growers Association (BCFGA) for their on-going, hard work assessing the COVID-19 risks associated with arriving domestic farm workers,” he said.
“Through first-hand observations on the number of workers present in the area, where those workers are staying, COVID-19 documentation available to workers, supervised and unsupervised camp options, transportation etc., the BCFGA is working to assess risk and provide alternatives to resolve concerns as they develop during the upcoming fruit harvest season.”