Kelowna City Hall. (Michael Rodriguez - Capital News)

Kelowna City Hall. (Michael Rodriguez - Capital News)

COVID-19: Kelowna prepares to borrow up to $150 million to keep city afloat

The bylaw is set to go to Kelowna city council on Monday

  • Apr. 16, 2020 12:00 a.m.

A bylaw headed to Kelowna city council could see the local government be given the ability to borrow up to $150 million as it continues to combat the economic impact of the COVID-19 pandemic.

“Given the potential financial difficulties experienced by many local businesses and residents, it is anticipated that cash flows may need support through other financial tools, such as short-term borrowing,” read the report headed to council on April 20.

The city can borrow up to 75 per cent what they collected in the previous year’s property taxes. For Kelowna, that was nearly $255 million, allowing them to borrow up to just over $190 million this year.

Kelowna recently deferred the property tax penalty date from July 2 to the end of August.

Today, the provincial government also announced tax deferrals, for certain commercial properties, including schools, to Oct. 2. Kelowna Mayor Colin Basran said this provides some “much-needed flexibility.”

“The deferral of payments for school taxes and borrowing will help with our short-term cash flow in light of the anticipated reduction in revenues,” said Basran.

Council is set to vote on the borrowing bylaw on Monday.

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