April 3, 2020
Council Approves Unprecedented Relief Plan on Property and Business Taxpayers to Ease Financial Burden of Covid-19 on Property and Business Taxpayers
Released: 10:53 a.m.
Winnipeg, MB – At a Special Meeting of Council today, efforts to ease the financial burden of COVID-19 on Winnipeg homeowners and businesses were approved by Council.
On March 20, Mayor Brian Bowman and Councillor Scott Gillingham introduced an amending motion to the 2020-2023 Multi-Year Balanced Budgets for Council’s consideration to look at ways the City could provide financial relief for property and business taxpayers. City Council voted 11-3 in favour of the Budgets which gave the public service the authority to develop the plan.
“This plan to provide financial relief for property and business taxpayers is unprecedented in our city’s history,” said Mayor Brian 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.”
Cities across Canada have either implemented or are in the process of implementing similar tax deferrals for property owners and business owners. This includes Toronto, Ottawa, Saskatoon and Edmonton.
“I have heard from residents and business owners that have already been financially impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic and they are concerned about their ability to pay their bills on time,” said Councillor Gillingham. “On March 15, I asked City staff to begin preparing a plan to offer property and business owners relief by giving them more time to pay their taxes. The City of Winnipeg needs to continue to be sensitive on how COVID-19 is impacting household incomes and Winnipeg’s economy.”
For those who need it, 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 (TIPP) program fees on both property and business taxes until October 1, 2020. This means no enrolment fee for the TIPP program and no penalty fee as a result of non-sufficient funds during that time. Residents will be allowed to remain enrolled in the program and make delayed TIPP payments without any late payment fees.
Taxes will still be owed and tax due dates have not changed. Those who are able to meet those due dates are encouraged to do so.
The City encourages Winnipeggers to consider the benefits of enrolling in the TIPP program. If residents are currently not enrolled, it allows residents to make regular monthly payments and avoid having to pay entire tax bills three months further down the road. Residents are encouraged to contact 311 to inquire about enrolment.
Released: 2:02 p.m.
Winnipeg, MB – Today, Council voted unanimously to declare a state of local emergency for Winnipeg in response to the unprecedented COVID-19 pandemic. Along with its existing powers, the City of Winnipeg will be able to use the authority under the state of local emergency to acquire additional resources to deal with the unprecedented COVID-19 pandemic as required.
“We are navigating a truly unprecedented time in our city’s history,” said Mayor Brian Bowman. “The declaration of today’s state of local emergency will enable access to the tools needed to respond to challenges in a timely fashion.”
The City remains committed to maintaining essential services while balancing the health, safety, and well-being of our employees and residents. We are acting on the advice of experts and taking their instructions seriously.
The Emergency Operations Centre is actively engaged in the City’s response to COVID-19, including coordinating response efforts, and ensuring the appropriate policies and procedures are in place to support the continuity of essential services and the ongoing maintenance of the City’s critical infrastructure.
Released: 7:48 p.m.
Winnipeg, MB – At 3:19 p.m. on Friday, April 3, 2020, the Winnipeg Fire Paramedic Service (WFPS) responded to an automatic fire alarm at a hotel in the 1800 block of Wellington Avenue. While responding, further 911 reports were received indicating fire in one of the suites. A second alarm was called, increasing the number of apparatus and WFPS crew members on the scene, due to the potential for a high number of occupants in the building.
Upon arrival on scene, crews found smoke in the first floor hallway of the hotel. An offensive attack was launched and the fire was very quickly brought under control. The automatic fire sprinkler system had activated and kept the fire from extending beyond the room of origin. Crews then worked to ventilate smoke from the building.
All occupants self-evacuated from the building. One patient was assessed on scene by paramedics but did not require transport to hospital. No other injuries were reported.
Fire damage was contained to the suite where the fire originated. Other areas of the hotel suffered minor smoke and water damage. No damage estimates are available at this time.
The cause of the fire is considered incendiary. The incident is being investigated by the Winnipeg Police Service.