Lethbridge, AB – City Council has approved changes to 2020 property tax penalty dates to help residents impacted by the financial effects of COVID-19.
All 2020 property tax notices will be mailed out at the end of May with a due date of June 30, 2020. For residents who are unable to pay their property taxes by that date, penalties will not be applied to unpaid tax balances until October 1.
The new penalties on outstanding balances will be three per cent on October 1, four per cent on November 1 and five per cent on December 1. Penalties are only applied on the unpaid part of the tax bill so paying what you can before October 1 helps eliminate or reduce additional costs later in the year.
"We understand the devastating impact that COVID-19 has had on our community and property tax bills are coming at a time when some businesses are just beginning to re-open and residents may be returning to work," says Mayor Chris Spearman. "By extending penalty dates, we believe this will give businesses and individuals more time to get back on their feet and make payments toward their bill without being penalized."
Property owners that can pay all or part of their property taxes by June 30 are asked to do so.
"Maintaining essential municipal services is necessary to keep the community moving forward through to our recovery," says Spearman. "Municipal property taxes contribute to funding essential services including police, Fire/EMS, infrastructure and human services."
Tax and Assessment General Manager, Larry Laverty, says the penalty extension will give the Tax & Assessment team more time to work with businesses and residents on payment options, if they are needed.
"We understand that COVID-19 has had a significant financial impact on many residents," says Laverty. "If you find yourself in a situation where you don't know how you are going to pay your taxes, please contact us to talk about what payment options are available. We're here to help."
City of Lethbridge