Pitt Meadows city hall opens up for the next few weeks, but only temporarily and only to accept property tax payments.
The hall will be re-open from Monday, June 15 through Friday, July 3, during regular business hours (8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.) for property tax payments only and with safety precautions will be in place, said Mayor Bill Dingwall.
Tax notices have been mailed to property owners, and property tax payment and provincial homeowner grant applications are due on July 2, he said.
“We appreciate the efforts of our community to stop the spread of the COVID-19 pandemic,” Dingwall said. But “we are reopening city hall to make it easier for community members, who are unable to pay their taxes through their banks or by mail.”
Chief administrative officer Mark Roberts explained that safety measures such as physical distancing, one-way traffic flow, and designated entrance and exit doors have been incorporated.
“Our priority is the safety of staff and the community,” Roberts said. “Please follow the safety guidelines at the city hall, and if you are sick, stay home. Reopening city hall is a temporary measure, while we develop plans to gradually and safely reopen municipal facilities while following provincial guidelines.”
While the late payment penalty date has been extended to Oct. 1, taxpayers are still being encouraged to pay their taxes by July 2, so the city can “continue to provide vital services to the community during this challenging time,” the mayor said.
The last day to pay taxes without penalty is Sept. 30, at which time a late tax payment penalty of 10 per cent will be applied to outstanding amounts. The penalty date was postponed by a few months this year to provide more time and assistance to taxpayers who have been financially impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic, Dingwall said, noting payment can be made in person at the hall, through a secured drop box at the hall, via mail, or through in-person banking.
COVID-19 financial relief grants available
The city’s COVID-19 financial relief grant is a one-time grant of $150 for a single-family home and $100 for a multi-family home, that is being applied automatically to every private individually owned tax account with a Class 1 Residential designation.
It’s already been incorporated into the tax notices that have been mailed out, and the amount at the bottom of the tax notice is the amount due, Roberts said.
If people do not require the reduction in their property tax bill and wish to decline the one-time grant (i.e. they wish to pay the full amount of their residential property taxes – without a $100 or $150 reduction), they’re asked to send an email with the subject line “Waive Grant” to email@example.com with a note of the folio number and the access code from the property tax notice.
COVID-19 and reopening city facilities
The city is working on risk assessments and reopening plans for a variety of city facilities, Dingwall said.
People can watch for further updates at pittmeadows.ca/covid19.
In the meantime, they can also access city services online at mypittmeadows.com.