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  • Newmarket continues to support residents and businesses during the pandemic with new financial relief measures

    Created: Thursday, January 21, 2021

    Newmarket continues to support residents and businesses during the pandemic with new financial relief measures  

    Town of Newmarket Mayor and Members of Council introduced a new Financial Relief Program that will replace the existing 2020 program that is set to expire on January 31, 2021. The purpose of the new Financial Relief Program is to provide a more targeted approach to residents and businesses who are experiencing financial challenges during the pandemic.
     
    The new Financial Relief Program for 2021 will include:

    • Waiving penalties and interest on unpaid property taxes for eligible residential property owners (through an application process);
    • Increasing the existing property tax assistance rebate to elderly residents from $320 to $450;
    • Increasing the existing residential water and waste water rebate from $354 to $420; and,
    • Providing a water rebate of $1,000 for eligible small businesses (through an application process)

     
    "It's important that we as a municipality continue to support our residents, elderly residents, and small local businesses that have been significantly impacted by the pandemic," says Mayor John Taylor. "This innovative Financial Relief Program, coupled with existing provincial and municipal financial measures ensures a fair and targeted approach to support community members who are most in need. If your finances are not significantly impacted by COVID-19, we encourage you to please continue to pay your taxes, hydro and utility bills on time if you can. This will help the Town as we continue to use our resources to support those who require assistance."
     
    Eligible residential property owners who wish to have penalties and interest waived on unpaid property taxes will be required to apply through the Town of Newmarket. Eligible applicants must:

    1. Be a residential property owner in Newmarket;
    2. Have suffered significant reduced hours, job loss or significant loss of income as a result of the pandemic. Property owners will be required to provide documents to support hardship (e.g. letter from employer, Canada Recovery Benefit (CRB), Canada Recovery Sickness Benefit (CRSB), Canada Recovery Caregiving Benefit (CRCB) or Employment Insurance benefit (EI) eligibility letter; and,
    3. Designate one (1) residential property for financial relief

    Applications will begin to be accepted the first week of February and will be available online at newmarket.ca/financialreliefprogram.
     
    Low-income elderly residents who qualified for the Federal Guaranteed Income Supplement were eligible to apply for a property tax rebate of $320 in 2020. In the new Financial Relief Program, the Town will temporarily increase this rebate from $320 to $450 in 2021.
     
    The Town offers eligible residents a water and waste water rebate if they qualify for the Guaranteed Income Supplement under the Old Age Security Act, support under the Ontario Disability Program or Ontario Works Assistance. As part of the 2021 Financial Relief Program, the Town will be increasing the water and waste water rebate from $354 to $420 a year.
     
    With the Province of Ontario offering property tax and energy bill rebates (Hydro and Gas) to businesses that are affected by the Provincial lockdown, Mayor and Members of Council wanted to also assist small local businesses further by offering a $1,000 rebate on their water bill. This temporary rebate will be available to eligible small businesses in 2021 as long as the utility account is identified as non-residential (ICI account) and their water meter size is less than 2 inches. Eligible small business tenants can also receive this rebate if the utility account is registered under their name. The Town recognizes that the criteria used to define small businesses for this rebate program may not include all small businesses in Newmarket. However, in order to reduce administration cost and to ensure that this assistance reaches as many businesses as possible, in the shortest amount of time, this definition was used. The Town will ask all landlords who receive this rebate to commit to passing the savings on to their small business tenants, where applicable.
     
    All eligible local businesses will see a $100 rebate on their February water bill. Businesses who wish to continue to receive this rebate will be required to submit an application to the Town before March 5, 2021. An application form will be included with the February water bill and available online in February at newmarket.ca/financialreliefprogram.
     
    In addition to the Financial Relief Program, the Town has a number of plans in place to support the community as a whole and particularly the most vulnerable in the community through a variety of programs and partnerships. The business community is also being strongly supported through the creation of the Business Assistance Concierge (BAC) program (a virtual business support and resiliency centre), an overall Economic Resiliency Action Plan, and the Choose Local campaign.

    If you have any questions on the Financial Relief Program or the Town's response to COVID-19, please contact the Town of Newmarket at 905-895-5193 or email info@newmarket.ca