Sidney Pier (Photo by Doug Clement Photography)

The Township of Sidney is the latest CRD municipality to vote against implementing a property tax hike for 2020.

A statement from Mayor Cliff McNeil-Smith on Tuesday says the town council has voted to reduce a previously approved property tax hike of 1.79 per cent to zero for residential and commercial properties.

Council also approved a 10 per cent reduction in the municipal portion of taxes for Commercial and Light Industrial properties.

See also: B.C. will reduce commercial property tax bills by an average of 25%

“The Town is using some of the limited tools available at the municipal level to provide a degree of financial relief and flexibility to residents and businesses in an effort to help reduce the financial impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic,” said Mayor McNeil-Smith in a statement.

This revised plan was announced at a council meeting on April 27th after budget deliberations over the course of three meetings, and follows both Victoria and Colwood announcing similar measures to help mitigate financial hardships faced by business owners.

The tax cuts apply on top of a 25 per cent reduction in commercial property tax bills applied by the provincial government by reducing the school tax rate.

Penalties for unpaid taxes will also be deferred to a later date in Sidney. The 5 per cent penalty date for residential properties shifts from July 3rd to August 1st, and the 5 per cent penalty date for commercial properties shifts from July 3rd to October 1st.

A second 5 per cent penalty date for both residential and commercial properties will be moved to to December 15th, 2020.

The township will provide an explanation of these property tax changes on the Residential and Commercial tax notices sent out in late May.