All property owners in Red Deer have until September 30 to pay their taxes after City Council approved in principle an extended deadline today.
At the regular council meeting on April 14, Red Deer City Council agreed to extend the property tax deadline by 90 days until September 30, 2020, in keeping with changes to the provincial education requisition deadline.
At the same meeting, council extended the Business Improvement Area (BIA) tax levy deadline until September 30, 2020.
They also made the decision not to proceed with supplementary property taxes or BIA taxes in 2020. Supplementary tax is the amount of tax levies on a supplementary assessment only. This tax is specific to properties that are under construction and were completed or occupied following construction at some point during the year.
“We recognize the financial and emotional hardship the COVID-19 crisis is causing all Red Deerians, and we want to do our part to ease the financial burden to our taxpayers during this time,” said Mayor Tara Veer. “The City has been analyzing potential options for the past few weeks, and City Council is glad to share what we hope will be welcome news with our community today.”
All property owners and BIA business owners have until September 30 to pay their taxes without penalty; however, those that are able to pay earlier are encouraged to do so. While City Hall remains closed to the public, property taxes can still be paid by signing up for the Tax Installment Plan, mailing a cheque to The City, or paying online or in person through your financial institution. The City is unable to process tax payments via credit card.
“While the deadline is extended, we still encourage those who are able to pay their taxes earlier to do so,” said Veer. “Property taxes fund essential City services including police, emergency services and key infrastructure maintenance, all of which must continue despite the current crisis.”
City council approved, in principle, an amended penalty of 7 per cent, effective October 1, 2020. However, further bylaw amendment will be brought forward to formalize this direction. Residents facing financial challenges or unemployment due to COVID-19 are also encouraged to seek assistance through Provincial and Federal financial assistance programs.
City council will deliberate final tax rates during scheduled upcoming council meetings, which includes the Tax Rate Bylaw and BIA Tax Rate Bylaw. In January, City Council approved the 2020 Capital and Operating budgets with a proposed municipal tax increase of 0.97 per cent.
The city has already taken a number of steps to ease the financial burden on residents where possible. Residents who may be unable to pay their city utility bills on time are able to defer to June 15, if needed.
In March, the city also announced fees would be waived for on-street parking throughout the city and at City lots downtown and near the Hospital. City council has also noted that the property tax and BIA tax collection deadlines may be further reviewed in coming months as the COVID-19 crisis continues to evolve.