Winnipeggers’ property and business tax payments will not be deferred for the time being.
Despite that, it is an idea that is being looked at, but due diligence needs to happen before any plan goes ahead, said Mayor Brian Bowman.
“If we’re not able to provide the deferral for 90 days, we want to know what other options are available to us.”
Bowman said he was aware the province had declared a state of emergency an hour before and he wanted to be clear about city services.
“Your water will keep running, transit will keep operating,” he said, adding if you call 911 or 311 those services will still be provided.
“I want to remind people they shouldn’t worry that they will not receive essential city services,” he said.
The city of Winnipeg’s revenues are down since the crisis started, said Bowman.
“There’s less people riding transit right now. There’s less people engaging in all the services that fuel the municipal government right now.”
Parking fees are still being charged, but Bowman said “I wouldn’t rule anything out” when it comes to continuing to charge for on-street parking.
The city of Winnipeg moved to reduce many civic services on Friday. They include:
- Suspending additional non-essential in-home appointments
- Closing most front-line service counters
- Closing animal services to the public; adoptions will now be by appointment only by calling 311
- The closing of the assessment and taxation department front counter
- Wedding licences won’t be available at the City Clerks’ front counter
- The suspension of interior occupied residential inspections
- City parks remain open but bookings of more than 50 people will not be accepted
- The Parking store will close to the public
- Three Winnipeg Transit kiosks will close. The Customer Services Centre located at 414 Osborne St. will remain open.
- Fire Paramedic Stations will be closed to public access except for emergencies.
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