COVID-19 property tax relief deferral program

Property owners that are adversely impacted by COVID-19 and unable to pay property taxes by the regularly scheduled tax due dates can apply for a deferred payment plan if they meet eligibility criteria.

Property owners can apply for a one-time COVID-19 pre-authorized monthly repayment plan. The plan consists of up to 10 monthly withdrawals beginning as early as March 15, 2021 through to a final withdrawal date no later than Dec. 15, 2021.

In addition to the deferral of 2021 tax installments, owners can also include the balance on an account from previous taxation year. Properties in which the Town has registered a lien on title are not eligible for this deferral program.

Immediately following enrollment, penalty/interest is suspended for the duration of the deferral so long as all payments are made. Ratepayers will customize which month they prefer to start their withdrawals; available starting months are March through June 2021. 

Monthly withdrawal amounts

The monthly withdrawal amount is calculated by taking an estimate of the full 2021 tax year levy, plus the balance outstanding from previous billings, plus any applicable penalty/interest charged. This combined figure is divided by the number of months chosen by the ratepayer, up to December 2021. There are several potential scenarios as illustrated in Report No. CORS-008-21.

Program eligibility criteria

 Eligibility criteria 
  1. The program is intended for property owners that have been directly impacted with financial hardship as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic and are experiencing hardship in one or more of the following categories: temporary suspension of or reduction in pay, loss of employment, excessive business revenue loss or temporary business closure.
  2. The program will be through a pre-authorized payment plan, therefore applicants will be required to provide the required banking information and authorizations.
  3. As the 2021 tax levy may be estimated at the time of enrollment, the final monthly withdrawal amount will be adjusted to account for either rounding and/or adjustment of the estimate to actual.
  4. Payment in Lieu of Tax properties are not eligible.
  5. Applicants may be required to provide documentation to support hardship related to COVID-19. Examples of acceptable documentation may include notice of business closure, notice of layoff, notice of temporary suspension, letter from employer confirming hours or pay had been reduced, forced closure notice, etc., and the Town reserves the right to request additional information or documentation for verification purposes.
  6. Business owners who have received compensation from Business Interruption Insurance coverage toward payment of property tax do not qualify.
  7. The balance on account will be used to determine the withdrawal amount.
  8. Any applicable penalty, interest or other charges added to the Roll to date will be included in the monthly calculation.  Further penalty/interest charges will be suspended for the duration of enrollment in the COVID-19 PTP re-payment 
  9. Owners providing false or inaccurate information are ineligible to join the program or will be removed immediately from the program once verified, and all taxes, penalty and interest are payable at either the billed due date or (if already passed) immediately.
  10. The expectation is that property owners with tenants should be passing on the deferral arrangement. The Town will not assume any role in the landlord / tenant relationship.
  11. Manual repayment without an approved application will be subject to penalty/interest.
  12. In the event a payment from this plan is not honored, the repayment plan will terminate and the balance will be considered arrears and subject to monthly penalty/interest effective that date.

Application deadlines

The earlier the first chosen withdrawal date is selected, the greater number of monthly withdrawals can be provided prior to the Dec. 15, 2021 finalization of the program. Applications received after May 31, 2021 are not eligible. The deadlines by month are as follows:

2021 application deadlines

Application received and approved by:Results in deferral spread over:Withdrawn on the 15th of each month
Feb. 28, 2021 10 months March through December 2021
March 31, 2021 9 months  April through December 2021
April 30, 2021 8 months May through December 2021
May 31, 2021 7 months June through December 2021

Businesses: Get help with COVID-19 costs

Businesses that were required to shut down or significantly restrict services due to provincial public health measures (in areas with modified Stage 2 restrictions or categorized as control or lockdown) can apply for rebates, provided in the form of grants, to help with fixed costs. Visit the province’s website to learn about eligibility and application requirements.