MISSION, BC—An update on the financial impacts to the District of Mission due to the COVID-19 pandemic and the measures taken to manage those impacts was delivered to Mayor and Council at last night’s Regular Council meeting.
While the District is in a financially strong enough position to withstand the substantial setback caused by the pandemic, the reality of the financial impacts to the District, like all municipalities, is significant, with expected revenue losses from sources such as recreation and leisure activity fees, transit fare collection, gaming, and the interest collected on late property tax payments and metered utility bills due to delayed deadlines for 2020.
The report also stated that the District has not seen a decrease in revenue related to building permits, business licensing, and utility connections so far this year.
“COVID-19 has touched every single aspect of our community,” said Mayor Pam Alexis. “We are all adapting to our new normal living alongside this virus for the foreseeable future. But we have to look ahead. Just around the corner, in late summer, is our 2021 budget and public consultation process where we’ll decide as a community, as we always do, what we want to prioritize in Mission. During this process, the impacts of COVID-19 will be front of mind for us all.”
“I expected to see revenue losses in some areas given the situation in the world right now,” she said. “But I’m also seeing our revenues from building and development keep the pace of previous years and this is encouraging as we plan a vibrant post-COVID-19 recovery.”
The District will continue to monitor the evolving situation and take appropriate actions to respond to the financial situation as required. Actions taken to date to mitigate revenue losses include laying off recreation staff and delaying recruitment’s.
To help ease the financial load on residents, the District of Mission has implemented a number of measures to date, such as:
- Pushing the penalty date for residential property taxes to after September 30
- Delaying metered utility billing due date by three months
- Waving several charges and fees, such as service and administrative fees
- Providing free bus transit until May 31
- Launching the “I Love Mission” campaign with community partners to support the local economy