Province provides COVID-19 economic update, confirms property tax relief
Today, Finance Minister Darlene Compton delivered the provincial economic and fiscal update and announced tax relief for Island property owners.
At the end of 2019, Prince Edward Island’s economy was strong, outperforming the national average and leading the way in estimated GDP growth, employment growth, and population growth. These economic and fiscal positions placed Prince Edward Island in a better place to weather the public health crisis and related economic impacts from the COVID-19 pandemic.
“It is because of the hard work of Islanders that our province has been in a good fiscal position and it will be because of the resiliency of our Island community that we will bounce back when this pandemic is behind us. The Province of Prince Edward Island will continue to work alongside the federal government, our local community leaders and all Islanders to put the necessary supports in place to us get through these unprecedented times, together.”
- Premier Dennis King
To help address the non-health related impacts of COVID-19 on Islanders, the Province of Prince Edward Island announced an initial $25 million Emergency Contingency Fund to support new provincial programs and the expansion of current programs. These investments were made in conversation with the federal government to ensure that provincial supports to Islanders would not be clawed back, would address gaps and that no Islander would be left behind.
Today, Finance Minister Darlene Compton announced a $15 million increase to the Emergency Contingency Fund in anticipation of the evolving critical needs of Island families, workers and businesses.
Minister Compton also outlined additional financial measures to help Islanders with property tax relief through amendments to the Real Property Tax Act regulations, including the option to defer property tax payment.
The measures include:
- Deferring provincial property tax and fee payments until December 31, 2020;
- Extending property assessment appeal deadlines for assessment year 2020 to December 31, 2020;
- Providing interest relief for tax year 2020, including all past due amounts;
- Suspending tax sale processes for the remainder of 2020; and
- Delaying mailing of provincial tax bills for 2020 until June.
“We will continue to invest in Islanders by ensuring that financing is available to support the network of programs needed to help Islanders weather the impacts of COVID-19 and to provide relief when necessary,” said Minister Compton. “The additional fiscal measures will assist in alleviating financial stresses and ensure that we take every step necessary to continue to support Islanders.”
Minister Compton further announced that for the continuity of local services and Island-wide waste collection, the province will continue to pay municipalities, fire districts and Island Waste Management Corporation their tax and fee amounts as normal.
In addition, Government announced that, at the request of the Retail Council of Canada and to respond to the health and safety concerns of the business community and front line workers, it is allowing retailers to distribute single-use paper bags free of charge to customers if they so choose.
Property tax deferral payment due dates:
- Past due: Seven (7) month extension
- Installment #1: Seven (7) month extension
- Installment #2: Four (4) month extension
- Installment #3: One (1) month extension
Provincial supports for Islanders impacted by financial loss due to COVID-19:
- Emergency Income Relief Fund
- Emergency Working Capital Financing
- Emergency Relief Worker Assistance Program
- Employee Gift Card Program PEI Broadband Fund
- Commercial Lease Rent Deferral Program
- Temporary Rental Assistance Benefit
- COVID-19 Special Situations Fund
- COVID-19 Business Adaption Advice Program
Provincial supports for the community sector to respond to COVID-19:
- United Way Atlantic Compassion Fund
- Community Champions Fund
- Community Champions Initiative
Executive Director, Communications and Public Affairs
Office of the Premier