Despite the coronavirus pandemic, Salmon Arm citizens did their part and paid their 2020 property taxes on time. (File photo)

Despite the coronavirus pandemic, Salmon Arm citizens did their part and paid their 2020 property taxes on time. (File photo)

Salmon Arm citizens pay taxes on time despite COVID-19

Worried pandemic might affect payments, council grateful so many citizens pay by deadline

Salmon Arm residents went above and beyond when paying their property taxes this year.

Although city council had decided in April to extend the property tax deadline from its usual date of July 2 to July 30 to accommodate financial pressures on citizens from the pandemic, the province then announced that the deadline for commercial properties would be Sept. 30.

Because the city’s software couldn’t calculate different deadlines for different tax classifications, Salmon Arm then shifted all its property tax deadlines to Sept. 30.

Concerns were voiced from council at that time about whether citizens would be able to pay and if the city should be scaling back projects.

As it turns out, taxpayers rose to the challenge.

Read more: Salmon Arm taxpayers to see deadline extension extended to September

Read more: Salmon Arm council divided on whether to cut more expenses in 2020 budget

Numbers provided from Tracy Tulak, the city’s acting chief financial officer, show that the city collected a slightly higher percentage of taxes in 2020 than in 2019.

Of the approximate $34 million to be collected in 2020, the city collected 95.78 per cent by Sept. 30. That compares to 95.25 per cent collected in 2019.

Coun. Kevin Flynn, who was the most outspoken in April about making more cuts on the expense side of the budget in case taxpayers couldn’t pay, made this comment regarding the property tax payments.

“You won’t hear this a lot, but I was wrong.”

He congratulated staff and also wanted to make sure that the community was thanked.

“I’m extremely proud of the community and extremely surprised by the great results. I’m not sure when the negative impacts are going to hit, but they seem to have been avoided in our tax collection anyway.”

Mayor Alan Harrison said a thank you was sent out to residents from mayor and council.
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