Lethbridge City Council is aiming for a zero per cent increase in property taxes and utilities rates for next year.

Councillors voted unanimously on Monday to set that target.

Mayor Chris Spearman says the COVID-19 pandemic is having a significant impact on the City and its residents and many taxpayers are facing financial hardship.

The City Manager has now been tasked with proposing options to amend the 2021 Operating Budget by eliminating the scheduled 3.64 per cent tax increase (2020 and 2021 combined).

City Council originally approved the 2019-2022 City of Lethbridge Operating Budget with an annual 1.82 per cent increase for the municipal portion of the property tax.

On May 11, 2020, as the result of the pandemic, City Council approved a one-time zero percent municipal tax rate increase.

The City says while the target would be applied to the municipal portion of your tax bill, individual properties may see a tax change on their bills for other reasons like a change in property assessment or an increase to the Green Acres Foundation budget or Alberta School budget.