UPDATE: Council approved the motion.
On June 22, City Council will consider a motion I brought forward at committee to get options for cancelling penalty and interest on late tax payments until the end of the year or some earlier time frame. The cost of eliminating penalty and interest is $1.65 million. Oakville has already made this decision, Halton Hills hasn’t and Milton is offering an application program to defer penalty and interest.
Here is a link to a Halton Region memo outlining what our municipalities are doing financially: Halton Region Memo_Financial Update Recovery Committee June 8 2020.
Council received the update from staff at yesterday’s (June 11) Corporate Services, Strategy, Risk and Accountability (CSSRA) Committee meeting.
The City of Burlington is looking at a potential year-end negative shortfall of $3.2 million due to the COVID-19 pandemic. I want to thank staff for doing everything they have done and making the tough decisions to bring that negative shortfall down from an initial $18 million hole through a combination of cost control, reserves meant for fluctuations in revenue like we are experiencing with COVID-19, and other measures.
Please click this link for the full staff presentation: June 11 COVID-19 Emergency Response Update (the financial/budget update is from pg. 5-13).
Commitee unanimously approved a motion to direct the City’s chief financial officer to come back in September 2020 to present at CSSRA a 2021 Budget Framework Report with budget timelines as we look to approve that budget in Q1 2021.
We know times are difficult for many residents and businesses who are having difficulty paying their taxes. We need to explore ways to assist.
The City already cancelled penalty and interest on tax until June 30, and also delayed the dates of the next instalments to Aug. 20 and Oct. 20. Final tax bills will be mailed out in July.
Property taxes are the most important revenue source for the city to ensure we continue to provide essential services for residents of the City of Burlington during these challenging circumstances. Taxpayers are encouraged to make payments where possible during these unique times.
Municipal governments cannot run debts, and my fellow members of the Ontario Big City Mayors have clearly indicated that debt financing for operations is not an option we accept or want. Neither unreasonable tax increases to cover our shortfalls nor cutting services are options.
For this reason, myself and fellow mayors across Ontario and Canada continue to urge the federal and provincial governments to step up and provide relief funding for municipalities. I encourage you to reach out to your MPs and MPPs and let them know your City needs financial relief so that you can continue to make use of the services and programming you need in Burlington.
– Mayor Marianne Meed Ward
- Halton Representatives Call on Federal and Provincial Governments for Immediate Funding for Cities and Towns
- LUMCO Mayors urge Provincial and Federal COVID-19 Relief for Municipalities
- LUMCO Big City Mayors Talk Post-COVID Recovery with Federal and Provincial Ministers
PLEASE NOTE: To stay updated on what the City of Burlington is doing regarding COVID-19, please visit the dedicated pages burlington.ca/coronavirus (and subscribe) and bit.ly/mayormeedwardCOVID19updates, and our Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) page — bit.ly/COVID19BurlingtonFAQ that are updated as new information becomes available.
A Burlington COVID-19 Task Force has been created to help support our community through this unprecedented emergency — updates will be provided at burlington.ca/COVID19taskforce.
To report an incident of non-compliance with provincial emergency orders, please contact the Halton Regional Police Service COVID-19 Hotline: 905-825-4722.
We’ve also created a dedicated page to feature the local organizations and businesses that have inspired us during the COVID-19 pandemic by taking action to support our community in new and creative ways — head to bit.ly/covidwallofinspiration.
HELPFUL RESOURCES & RELATED LINKS:
- Community questions and requests regarding City of Burlington services can be directed to Service Burlington by phone at 903-335-7777, by email at firstname.lastname@example.org or online.
- For further COVID-19 information, including where to get tested, please visit Halton Region Public Health halton.ca/coronavirus
- Residents can stay informed at burlington.ca/coronavirus as well as on our social media channels: @cityburlington on Twitter and facebook.com/cityburlington
- Questions about the cancellation of Recreation programs can be directed to email@example.com or firstname.lastname@example.org or 905-335-7738
- City of Burlington: www.burlington.ca/coronavirus
- Resources for Residents & Non-Profit Organizations: www.burlington.ca/covid19resources.
- Halton Region: www.halton.ca/coronavirus
- Government of Ontario: www.ontario.ca/coronavirus
- Provincial Emergency Orders: https://www.ontario.ca/laws/regulation/200052
- Government of Canada: www.canada.ca/coronavirus
- World Health Organization: www.who.int
- Joseph Brant Hospital: josephbranthospital.ca/covid-19
- Team Burlington Business Supports: burlingtonchamber.com/team-burl-supporting-burl-business-during-covid-19/
- Burlington Food Bank: call 905-637-CARE (2273), or visit burlingtonfoodbank.ca
- Food for Life: call 905-635-1106 and press 7, or visit foodforlife.ca
- Canadian Mental Health Association – Halton Branch: call 289-291-5396, or visit halton.cmha.ca