Property Taxes Cut and Late Fees Waived by Province Following BBOT Advocacy; BBOT Applauds Move To Address Rent/Lease Crisis

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April 16, 2020 — Today, the provincial government effectively cut property tax bills by 25% and deferred their payment until October 1, a move the Burnaby Board of Trade applauds as an important step in addressing the challenges facing business tenants across BC during COVID-19. Property tax and rent/lease payments are two of the largest costs borne by businesses and both have been largely ignored by government actions surrounding COVID-19 until today, a problem highlighted by the Burnaby Board of Trade in direct  advocacy with government.

“This provincial announcement, coupled with the news of a looming federal program for commercial leases, is an important move towards addressing the rent/lease crisis facing so many of the small businesses in our communities,” says Burnaby Board of Trade (BBOT) President & CEO Paul Holden.

The provincial government announced a significant reduction in the school tax which will effectively reduce property taxes by an average of 25%  across BC, and is also waiving late penalties for not paying property taxes by their due date until October 1.  The Burnaby Board of Trade has been advocating for changing how we calculate property taxes for years, but with COVID-19 has been specifically calling for a property tax cut and deferral to help save Burnaby businesses money during the crisis.

As the school tax makes up a large portion of local property tax bills, reducing it will reduce property tax owed overall.  Changing property tax bills will support small businesses who pay property taxes through triple net leases.  This reduction in taxes for 2020 will directly result in a lower tax bill passed on to business tenants, and the delay in late penalties will allow landlords to extend flexible payment options for their tenants as well.

“The BBOT saw a reduction and deferral on property taxes as a must-do for our business community, so this is a good news announcement from the province ” adds Holden. “There is still work to be done on all fronts to support businesses until our economy re-opens, but this is a significant step in the right direction.”