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City Council to consider approving new measures to provide economic relief to local businesses

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The Bakersfield City Council will consider approving several measures at its meeting on Wednesday that would provide economic relief to local businesses affected by the COVID-19 pandemic.

One of the measures would be the suspension of all delinquent fees and related interest for city charges for service and utilities, both commercial and residential, effective immediately through June 30.

The suspension of delinquent fees and interest would only be temporary, the city said. Balances for city charges for service will remain due in the future. 

The city is also looking to defer payment of transient occupancy tax and waive late penalty fees of collections made through May 31 and delay payment for that time period until July 1.

The City Council will also consider automatically and uniformly enacting an extension of the payment deadline for business license permits to Aug. 1. Traditionally, the city said these permit fees are due in July. 

City staff would also like to delay an update of the city’s master fee schedule by one calendar year from May 2020 to May 2021. 

The city said these new measures would not affect the collection of sales or property taxes, as they are not directly collected by the city. 

“The city recognizes the potential hardships local businesses continue to face in light of the COVID-19 emergency,” the city said in a news release. “By taking the above actions, the city can help by providing temporary relief for businesses and residents in order to reduce the long-term impacts to the local economy. Staff continues to monitor the situation, and will develop additional resources and tools to address local business concerns as necessary.”

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