Burlington City Council unanimously approved the temporary elimination of interest rate penalties for late property tax payments at Monday’s meeting.
The relief will be in place for April and May in response to economic uncertainty for residents during the COVID-19 pandemic.
The decision was in response to the city receiving “numerous concerns” from both the business community and homeowners, according to Burlington Mayor Marianne Meed Ward.
The City of Burlington currently has one property tax installment date remaining for interim billing on April 21. The temporary property tax relief will allow businesses and homeowners to make their April 21 installment by June 30 without incurring late payment charges.
“Property taxes are the most important revenue source for the city to ensure we continue to provide essential services for residents of the City of Burlington during these challenging circumstances,” said Meed Ward.
“Taxpayers are encouraged to make payments where possible during these unique times. This temporary relief will be reviewed by staff and council on an ongoing basis until the State of Emergency related to COVID-19 is lifted.”
The temporary changes being recommended would mean:
- No penalty will be charged for the April 21 installment for all property owners
- No month-end interest will be charged for all property owners in April and May
- No returned payment admin fee will be charged by the City for any returned tax payments (i.e. insufficient funds, stop payment)
The city said, however, that pre-authorized tax payments will continue to be withdrawn. Individuals on a preauthorized payment plan who are unable to make a payment can temporarily suspend their withdrawals from their account by emailing [email protected]
The City requires notification at least three business days prior to the withdrawal date.
Taxpayers who sent a postdated cheque to the City of Burlington for their April 21 tax installment and can no longer make a payment have been asked to put a stop payment on the cheque at their bank.