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City extends free transit; tax penalty waiver expires July 31

'In order to be financially responsible to all taxpayers, we have to start re-introducing fees as we return to the new normal,' says mayor
2018-06-06 Orillia City Centre

NEWS RELEASE
CITY OF ORILLIA
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The City of Orillia is updating its Community Assistance Program as more businesses and people return to work in Stage 3 of the province’s reopening.
 
“In March, Orillia Council established a Community Assistance Program to help residents and businesses cope with the impact of the pandemic," said Mayor Steve Clarke.

"Many of the assistance measures were extended several times as the Emergency Management Committee adapted its response to COVID-19.  Now that we are in a stage where the majority of businesses can reopen and people are returning to work, some of these assistance measures will begin to expire. The financial impact of COVID-19 on the City of Orillia is in the millions. In order to be financially responsible to all taxpayers, we have to start re-introducing fees as we return to the new normal,” said Clarke.
 
The following decisions were approved by the Emergency Management Committee:

  • Waiving of property tax penalty and interest expires as of July 31.
  • Waiving of Non-Sufficient Funds (NSF) charges expires July 31.
  • Free Orillia Transit expires Aug. 31 with regular fares in place beginning Sept. 1.
  • No events on municipal property remains in effect until Aug. 31.
 
As the penalty and interest waiver period for property taxes is ending, we encourage taxpayers with concerns to reach out to our treasury staff at 705-329-7239 to discuss your property tax account.
 
Orillia Transit pass holders who purchased a monthly transit pass for the months of April, May, and June can redeem these passes for an equal number of months for September, October and November. Beginning Sept. 1, riders must present a valid pass for the appropriate month in order to board the bus. Transit pass exchanges can be completed at Orillia City Centre and will be by appointment only until further notice. Pass exchanges can be completed between Aug. 1 and Sept. 30, 2020.
 
For more information regarding transit pass exchanges, please call 705-325-3975.
 
More information regarding the reintroduction of parking fees in Downtown Orillia will be shared later this week. Currently parking fees are waived through to July 31, 2020.
 
Other City of Orillia community assistance measures still in place include:
  • Emergency fund of $100,000 to be distributed to critical lead service providers on an as-needed basis.
  • Waived 2020 water and sewer penalty and interest through to Sept. 30, 2020, for both residential and businesses.
  • Suspension of all water shut-offs due to non-payment of water bills until Sept. 30, 2020.
  • Deferred implementation of the Municipal Accommodation Tax (MAT) to Sept. 1, 2020.
  • Established an Economic Recovery Task Force.
  • One-million dollars set aside for COVID-19 related social and economic recovery efforts.
  • Offering an alternative day camp program called ‘Camp Orillia’ this summer as a child care service to help parents who are returning to work.
  • Launched #OrilliaCares campaign to share community acts of kindness.

The City continues to monitor the COVID-19 situation and adapt services and community assistance and prevention measures accordingly. For detailed information on City services and amenities, please visit orillia.ca/COVID-19.
 
For more information on the COVID-19 Assessment Centre in Orillia visit: osmh.on.ca/covid-19/
 
For COVID-19 updates from the SMDHU visit: http://www.simcoemuskokahealth.org/Promos/Novel-Coronavirus

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