Richmond will lower property taxes by two per cent and not expect payment until Sept. 2 – deferred from the original date of July 2.
City council will ask the province to make a ruling to allow all municipalities in B.C. to defer property taxes, but if it doesn’t, Richmond will invoke the community charter and do it themselves.
“We’re going to do it ourselves in any case,” said Richmond Mayor Malcolm Brodie at council on Tuesday evening.
The two per cent decrease will mean there will be no money going into capital reserves this year, and the planned hiring of 12 new RCMP officers and five RCMP municipal staff won’t happen this year.
Brodie said the hope is the RCMP officers will be hired next year.
Plans for a community centre in City Centre North will also be delayed because of the property tax reduction.
Deferring property taxes was something Richmond Mayor Malcolm Brodie contemplated last week in a conversation with the Richmond News, but he said there are ramifications outside of the city that need to be taken into consideration.
Property taxes and levies were expected to account for about 70 per cent of the city’s 2020 budget, with total revenues anticipated at $334 million.
About half the property tax bill doesn’t go to the city but covers things like school tax and Metro Vancouver levies with varying due dates.
Richmond will ask Metro Vancouver for delays on payments to that agency as well.