A Special Meeting of Winnipeg's city council is initiating a new plan to ease the burden on taxpayers feeling the financial stress of COVID-19.

As mentioned during yesterday's press conference, the city will be initiating a plan to aid property and business owners during hardship due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

The city asks that those who are able, to continue to pay their taxes. Those who cannot will benefit from a recently-approved plan.

“This plan to provide financial relief for property and business taxpayers is unprecedented in our city’s history,” Mayor Brian Bowman says. “As Winnipeggers, we will get through the global COVID-19 pandemic by supporting each other. Providing immediate relief to Winnipeg homeowners and businesses who are not currently able to pay their taxes is one of the ways the City of Winnipeg can support our community.”

Today's conference approved the plan to waive penalties for unpaid property and business taxes for up to three months after their original due date, and waive Tax Instalment Payment Plan (TIPP) program fees. TIPP users will not be charged enrolment fees or non-sufficient fund fees until October 1, 2020. The city notes that those enrolled in TIPP will not receive late payment fees if they make delayed payments.

The city notes that other Canadian cities are establishing similar programs.

The relief plan was first discussed on March 15 by city council members. Today's 11-3 vote gave the city permission to develop the plan.