$122M in property taxes still outstanding after deadline in Calgary

The City of Calgary says there is nearly $122 million in property taxes that weren't paid by the September 30th deadline — about $77 million of that from residential properties.

The city says that's worse than past years, but mayor says he's not concerned

The city says property tax payments fell by about five per cent this year. (CBC)

The City of Calgary says there is nearly $122 million in property taxes that weren't paid by the Sept. 30 deadline — about $77 million of that from residential properties.

City council extended this year's tax deadline from June 30 to the end of September because of the pandemic and the state of the economy.

The numbers only account for those who choose to pay their taxes in one lump sum.

Mayor Naheed Nenshi says normally about 95 per cent of lump sum taxes are paid before the deadline, and this year's total was 89 per cent for residential.

Non-residential payments were at 91.6 per cent. 

Data provided by the city shows the breakdown of lump-sum payments of property taxes as of the deadline. (City of Calgary)

"I'm actually not that worried about it," said Nenshi. 

"It's not that much different than in previous years and because we cut the penalty for not paying on time in half. I'm just imagining that a lot of folks just did the math and said 'given my cashflow today, I'd rather take the 3.5 per cent penalty rather than go and find the money somewhere else.' So I'm not that worried."

The city also says enrollment in the tax instalment payment program, which allows monthly payments, is the highest it's ever been.

If property taxes aren't paid for three years, the city can auction off the land, but Nenshi says nearly all affected landowners typically make good on their account before they could lose their property at the tax sale.

With files from Scott Dippel


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