A virtual city meeting is scheduled for next Wednesday during which councillors are expected to formally approve property tax relief for those who need the support.
Eisenberger says the proposal is to offer a “two-month tax deferral for all intents and purposes,” waiving penalties and interest for any unpaid tax installments for 60 days and “pushing it down the road until such time as everything stabiliizes.”
The mayor acknowledges that “it’s not everything,” but when combined with the assistance that the federal and provincial governments are putting on the table, he’s hopeful that it will help people get through the current crisis.
“Whatever we can do to help one another get through this, we should be doing in every way possible,” Hamilton Mayor Fred Eisenberger says.
The mayor also encourages landlords, banks and others to do their part, by working on a case-by-case basis and “exercising some judgment” as rent and mortgage payments come due.
Eisenberger says those who can continue to pay their taxes should do so since the city “needs the cash flow.”
He notes that municipalities aren’t allowed to run a deficit and tax payments are needed to run the city amid a significant decline in transit and program revenues, and a major spike in COVID-19 related costs in terms of shelters, support for seniors and other areas.
The next tax installment, the second, is due to the City of Hamilton on April 30, with the due date for the third installment at the end of June.
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