CALGARY -- More than 500,000 property tax bills are in the mail and the deadline for payment this year has been extended to Sept. 30 to help Calgarians struggling due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

The notices, being sent to residential and commercial property owners in Calgary, should arrive in the next two weeks, city manager David Duckworth said during Tuesday's regular update.

"For those who are able to pay their property taxes by the June 30 deadline, we thank you, property taxes fund important city services Calgarians count on every day like police, fire and transit. To help those who may struggling to pay their household and business expenses, the city has moved the property tax payment due date from June 30 to Sept. 30, interest and penalty free."

The property tax deadline does not apply to property owners who pay monthly through TIPP. The regular filing fee for taxpayers who join TIPP has been suspended until January 1, 2021.

City council also voted to shift the tax burden, meaning commercial property owners will see a combined municipal and provincial tax decrease of 12 per cent while residential home owners will see a combined tax increase of 7.5 per cent.

"This is roughly equivalent to 66 cents more per day for the typical Calgary household," said Duckworth.

Calgarians doing distancing well

Calgarians seem to be getting the message when it comes to social distancing, Calgary Emergency Management Agency Deputy Chief Sue Henry said during the update, one day after restaurants, bars, pubs and cafes were allowed to reopen at 50 per cent capacity. Hair salons and barbershops are also allowed to be open now as part of the first phase of relaunching the province's economy.

"The vast majority of business owners and patrons did a fantastic job on Day 1 of Calgary's reopening, thank you," she said. "Business licencing received only two complaints, both related to physical distancing in hair salons and our officers worked with the business owners to remedy the concerns."

Henry said there were no tickets handed out last weekend for failing to follow public health guidelines.

Outdoor gatherings in Alberta are limited to 50 people while indoor gatherings are capped at 15.

Officials are asking Calgarians to avoid four hotspots however, along the Eau Claire promenade, at Nose Hill Park, the Sue Higgins Dog Park, and Prince's Island Park.

Albertans are asked to remain at least two metres away from other people when in public, and to wear a mask when that isn't possible, like while on transit.

There are a  number of health guidelines for businesses offering dine-in service, including:

  • Restaurants, cafes, pubs and bars must operate at no more than 50 per cent seating capacity
  • Outdoor patio seating areas must also be at 50 per cent capacity or less
  • Arrange tables and chairs so that a two metre distance is maintained between each dining party
  • Consider using one-way traffic flow to help maintain distancing
  • Physical barriers should be installed where tables cannot be adequately separated
  • Setting limits on the number of patrons per table, based on size
  • A maximum number of patrons sitting together at larger tables should be six