Should Quesnel City Council give tax relief or stay the course when it comes to the municipal budget ?
That question will likely come up at tonight’s (May 5) meeting.
Mayor Bob Simpson says it’s important that Council understands that tax relief is across the board, and that the financial pain of COVID is not …
“There are many commercial interests in our community that are actually thriving and getting better sales under this, and in fact some of them would be the biggest beneficiaries of any tax cut that municipalities will give. The smaller retailers are only get a nominal benefit, and the same with residences.”
Simpson says not all residents have been severely impacted either, and you have to own real property in order to get any benefit from property tax relief.
He says any tax relief wouldn’t add up to much anyways…
“Something in the range of four or five dollars per hundred thousand of assessment, and with that in mind he feels that Council may be better off being more strategic and apply any money to where there is known real pain in the community.”
Simpson uses not-for-profit organizations as an example…
“Many of the not-for-profit organizations are going to lose gaming grant funding most likely. They have to add cost to their system because they have to purchase PPE (personal protective equipment), and they have to put up plexiglass and so on, so we know and can find out where the real pain in the community is and we can help out there, rather than give across the board tax cuts and then benefit people who don’t need that kind of relief at this time.”
The budget is also being voted on as Council is facing a lot of financial pressures of its own with lost revenue due to the Tolko mill closure and less casino money, transit money and airport money because of COVID-19.