Town Council approves relief measures for the Golden community Print Article Font Size
In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, the Town of Golden is taking action to support the residents and businesses of Golden. On April 7, Council provided direction on the 2020 Property Tax Rate Bylaw and approved additional relief measures to support taxpayers and local businesses facing financial hardship.
 
The following relief measures have been approved to provide flexibility for taxpayers and businesses in Golden:
  1. For 2020, Council will implement a zero per cent tax revenue increase instead of the planned 3.28 per cent increase.
  2. Property tax bills will be mailed by the end of May 2020 and still have a deadline of July 2; however, penalties for late tax payments have been adjusted as follows to split up and defer the standard 10 per cent penalty issued for taxes unpaid as of July 2: there will be a 5 per cent penalty for taxes unpaid as of July 2 and another 5 per cent penalty for taxes unpaid by September 2.
  3. Council will be looking to adopt a Revenue Anticipation Bylaw. This means that the Town of Golden can borrow against its anticipated revenue for the year in order to ensure adequate cash flow for operations until property taxes have been paid.  
  4. Business license fees will be deferred until Nov. 30, 2020 and Council has approved the reduction of those fees by approximately 50 per cent.
  5. In March, Council passed a resolution to extend the deadline for residential utility bill payments until April 30, 2020.

“We’re all in this together,” said Mayor Ron Oszust. “The direction provided by Council is meant to support the residents and businesses in our community during these unprecedented times, while also being financially responsible to ourselves and most importantly, ensuring that we are able to continue to provide essential services to you the residents.” said Mayor Ron Oszust.

At the meeting Council also accepted operating and capital projects identified by staff for deferral from 2020 to support the relief measures. These projects include the website redesign, updated accounting software, some fleet purchases, a parks condition assessment, some roads and sewer upgrade projects; and a number of projects under the Resort Municipality Initiative including signage, an amphitheatre for Spirit Square and trail systems updates. Several projects were upheld as they represent the ability to provide meaningful local employment and expenditures.

“With these Council decisions, come necessary changes to our work plan for 2020,” said Chief Administrative Officer, Jon Wilsgard. “Although some of our key projects set to start this year have been deferred, we will keep them in the hopper for the coming year(s). We will continue to provide the best services to our community, and in the meantime we will be looking at how we can get these projects completed in the future.”
 
Council also discussed how future meetings and public processes will take during the provincial state of emergency. These measures will be in place to ensure business continuity until this time has passed and meetings can return to normal:
  • Council and Committee meetings will remain closed to the public during this time. However, Council and Town staff will be working to minimize agendas by only bringing forward essential and non-controversial items. As always, agendas and meeting minutes will be readily posted at golden.civicweb.net and a recap of Council meetings will be included in the Town’s monthly newsletter (sign up at golden.ca/newsletter) and Town Hall Recap ads in The Golden Star.
  • Council will continue to follow its existing practice in determining the need or waiver of public hearings as permitted. Council also directed staff to investigate additional options for modifying the public hearing process to accommodate the public if required in the future.

“We will continue to monitor and analyze the situation surrounding COVID-19 and consider whether or not additional measures need to be taken in the future for both the community and internally as an organization,” said Mayor Oszust.