Richmond considers borrowing up to $36.5 million

The City of Richmond might borrow up to $36.5 million to cover revenue shortfalls because of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Council will consider a bylaw at its finance committee meeting on May 4 that would give the city the ability to borrow money to cover a decline in sales of services, payments to other agencies and the possible delay or delinquency of property taxes.

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While council kept the property tax due date at its original date of July 2, a decision was made to give property owners until Sept. 30 before any late penalties kick in.

Passing the bylaw, however, doesn’t mean the city will immediately borrow money, as a staff report to council notes.

According to the staff report, the city is in a “sound financial position” and has cash and investments, but given the uncertainty, “it is prudent to have a contingency plan in place for the possibility that some borrowing may be required to maintain liquidity through the pandemic crisis.”

The city also has $9.5 million in credit with its bank.

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