Calgary council defers property tax payments for three months
CALGARY -- Calgary taxpayers will have a little bit more breathing room when it comes to paying property taxes this year. The deadline to pay taxes have been pushed from June 30 to the end of September.
The recommendation was approved by city council late Monday afternoon. As long as property taxes are paid before September 30, people will not face any penalties or interest.
The motion does not mean taxes are being cancelled, however, and deferred payments will be added to the last three months of the year. More than $1.9 billion in taxes needs to be collected by the City in 2020.
Council also approved a 7.55 per cent tax hike for residential properties. Taxes will be about $240 more this year for the average home worth $455,000.
The COVID-19 pandemic has had significant impact on the city’s finances. Administration anticipates city revenue will decrease by up to $80 million over the next three months.
The closure of recreation facilities means a $3 million drop in revenue per month, and Calgary Transit is losing about $12 million every month as C-Train ridership has dropped by about 90 per cent.
Despite the revenue loss, Mayor Naheed Nenshi says the city isn’t considering deferring any big capital projects, such as the Green Line LRT or new arena.
“We’re going to get through this and when we get through this, all those framers and drywallers and painters are all going to need work,” Nenshi said.
“You can’t steal from your capital money to pay for your operating. That’s like burning your furniture to heat your house — at some point you’re going to need the furniture.”
The mayor says he’s “extremely confident” capital funding that’s been promised by the federal and provincial governments will still be available, despite the pandemic.
City of Calgary Manager David Duckworth says more relief for businesses and individuals will be explored and considered in the next two weeks.
Tax bills will be mailed by the end of May.