Here are some of the relief measures the City of Brooks has created to help support people and businesses while protecting the financial sustainability of municipal operations:
Property Tax Rebate Program
On May 19, City Council approved the 2020 Property Tax Rebate Program. The municipal portion of residential/farmland property taxes will be reduced by 1.08% while commercial and industrial properties will see a 5% decrease.
These rebates will appear automatically on tax notices and will be implemented in conjunction with the previously announced relief measures. Property taxes will be due on October 1st, 2020 but residents are encouraged to pay earlier if they are able to do so.
Utility changes effective March 17, 2020:
- All utility disconnections (shut offs) will be deferred for 90 days.
- All door tag notices warning about shut offs will be deferred for 90 days.
- All penalty charges will be deferred for 90 days.
- Utility transfers to taxes will be deferred for 90 days.
- Customer overdue reminders will be re-written explaining the following:
- The ratepayer has an overdue amount.
- Water/Sewer & Garbage services are essential services and they will not be discontinued because of non-payment during this period.
- Utility Customers will be expected to pay for these services at some time; however, the City will not be following our collection processes or charging penalties on overdue amounts during this period.
- We encourage customers to make payments, or partial payments to their accounts whenever possible to clear up balances. The City has several options for customers to make payments such as online, via telephone, or through the drop box on the east side of City Hall.
- The City may not be maintaining the same schedule for sending out utility bills in the near future.
We will monitor the COVID-19 situation and make further revisions after 90 days if needed.
The due date for all property taxes will be extended.
The due date for taxes is yet to determined and will be dependent on the province's final direction on non-residential education property taxes and any other provincial direction on taxes. As surface irrigation charges are billed on our tax and assessment notices, the extended due dates would also apply to these charges.
All penalties for nonpayment of utility bills will be waived until October 1, 2020.
We will be sending out bills to customers so that those who are able to pay can do so. Collection processes will not proceed, and penalties will not be charged prior to October 1, 2020. Appropriate guidelines will be established for the repayment of late amounts.
Development application charges will be waived for the remainder of 2020.
This is being done to encourage and accommodate new developments/construction within the City.
Building permit fees will be reduced by 25% (City's portion) for the remainder of 2020.
The remaining building permit fees will be collected to satisfy the City's building inspection contract and provincial levy.
The City will pay the Business Revitalization Zone (BRZ) taxes on behalf of business owners in the BRZ.
This is an additional tax levied to the downtown businesses in support of the initiatives proposed by the BRZ annual budget.