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City extends residential tax hardship program

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A residential tax hardship program related to the COVID-19 pandemic has been extended by the city. 

It’s available to applicants impacted by the pandemic with tax arrears on their primary residence for the 2020 and 2021 taxation years. 

Council approved the agreement with Low Income People Involvement (LIPI) last week. 

The program ran last year but a staff report says feedback received was that the defined periods of impact and the ratepayer contribution levels that were needed to receive matching funding were seen as significant hurdles.

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“We have not spent any money to date through our reserves,” says Deputy Mayor Tanya Vrebosch. “This is just extending the agreement so that LIPI can continue.  What we did was added a bit more flexibility, I think it was the timelines and the matching dollars.” 

She says there was interest. 

“They had people applying but either they weren’t from the City of North Bay, so obviously they were turned down for our dollars, they didn’t complete an application or they didn’t meet the criteria,” Vrebosch says. 

However, there were other benefits to the program. 

“It was getting people through the door and they were connecting with LIPI for other resources for other things,” she says.  “Even though there was no money spent there were a lot of good connections with the social service agency in town.” 

$300,000 is coming from reserves for the program, which will continue to be accessible to applicants impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic with tax arrears on their primary residence for the 2020 and/or 2021 taxation years. 

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