Ottawa

City to defer property taxes in light of COVID-19

The City of Ottawa is giving property owners more time to pay their property tax bills in light of the financial challenges that many are facing due to COVID-19 crisis.

Ottawa's interim tax bill normally due by 3rd Thursday in March

Mayor Jim Watson oversaw the passage of the 2020 budget late last year that saw a property tax increase of 3 per cent. On Wednesday, he announced that property owners could defer paying their interim tax bill until at least mid-April. (Giacomo Panico/CBC)

The City of Ottawa is giving property owners more time to pay their property tax bills in light of the financial challenges that many are facing due to COVID-19 crisis.

The interim tax bill, which is based on 50 per cent of the previous year's tax bill and was mailed out late last month, is payable on the third Thursday in March. Now, everyone will have until April 15 to pay. Residents and small businesses facing particular hardship will be allowed to apply to extend the deferral until Oct. 30.

Mayor Jim Watson tweeted that he hopes landlords use the extra cash flow to help their tenants who've had to close down.

City council would have to approve the tax deferral measures at its meeting scheduled for next Wednesday, March 25, which it is almost certain to do. 

The city has deferred the payment of property taxes twice in the past three years for victims of spring flooding.

According to a memo from deputy treasurer Joseph Muhuni to council, these are the measures being proposed:

  • All residential and commercial property owners have until April 15 to pay their interim tax bills.
  • Residents facing financial hardship can also apply to defer paying both their property taxes and the final bill — which would usually be due June 18 — until Oct. 30, regardless of the assessed value of their home.
  • Small businesses with a commercial property with a provincially assessed value of up to $2.5 million  that have been financially affected by the pandemic can apply to defer paying their property taxes until October.
  • Criteria for eligibility for the deferral program will be included in a motion that will be tabled at council next week.

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