Regina city council looking for more information before denying COVID relief

Regina city council will be looking for more information before voting on whether they want to deny some COVID-19 property tax relief requests.

The requests are from the Regina Downtown Business Improvement District (RDBID), the Regina Warehouse Business Improvement District (RWBID), and the Regina Hotel Association (RHA).

City administration recommended that council deny the requests and instead approve a payment plan program with a reduced penalty rate of 0.75 per cent for those experiencing pandemic hardship.

The RHA requested a 25 per cent reduction in municipal property taxes for 2021, which would result in a loss in revenue for the city totalling $954,540.

Both RDBID and RWBID asked for a one-time tax credit for all member properties equal to the levies paid for 2021, which would require a withdrawal from the General Reserve Fund of $1.16 million.

The payment plan that the city administration recommended would establish a reduced penalty rate of 0.75 per cent on outstanding property taxes. The current penalty rate is 1.5 per cent from July to December, and that rate increases to 1.75 per cent past December 31 of the year owing.

Mayor Sandra Masters agreed to deny the RDBID and RWBID’s requests but had concerns about the proposed payment plan and wanted more information before deciding on the RHA’s request.

Council’s decision has been tabled to the March 9 executive committee meeting.

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