The City of Winnipeg declared a local state of emergency Friday, while also voting to waive tax penalties for up to three months due to the COVID-19 (coronavirus) outbreak.
During an emergency city council vote, Mayor Brian Bowman said the efforts will ease the financial burden facing Winnipeg homeowners and businesses. The local state of emergency gives the city certain powers, if needed, to fight the pandemic.
“This plan to provide financial relief for property and business taxpayers is unprecedented in our city’s history,” said Bowman.
“As Winnipeggers, we will get through the global COVID-19 pandemic by supporting each other. Providing immediate relief to Winnipeg homeowners and businesses who are not currently able to pay their taxes is one of the ways the City of Winnipeg can support our community.”
The city will waive penalties for unpaid property and business taxes for up to three months following their due date. Property taxes that are due on June 30, 2020 will have fees waived until October 1, 2020. Business taxes that are due on May 29, 2020 will have fees waived until September 1, 2020.
The city will also waive tax instalment payment plan program fees on both property and business taxes until October 1, 2020.
However, city council didn’t vote to scrap taxes entirely. They will still be owed and tax due dates haven’t changed. Those who are able to meet those due dates are encouraged to do so.