Lethbridge City Council has approved changes to 2021 property tax penalty dates, similar to measures last year, to help residents impacted by the ongoing financial effects of COVID-19.
Council on Tuesday voted unanimously to pass second and third readings to Bylaw 6286 - amending Bylaw 6253, 2021 Incentives for Prepayments, Penalty and Tax Deferral Bylaw.
All 2021 property tax notices will be mailed out at the end of May with a due date of June 30, 2021. 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. As in 2020, 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.
"City Council understands the financial stress and impact that the COVID-19 pandemic continues to have in our community," says Mayor Chris Spearman. "By extending property tax penalty dates again this year, we believe this will give businesses and individuals more time to make payments without being penalized. City Council is working hard to curb tax increases to residents while still maintaining a high level of municipal services."
Property owners that can pay all or part of their property taxes by June 30 are asked to do so.
Larry Laverty, Tax and Assessment General Manager, says the penalty extension will again give the Tax & Assessment team more time to work with businesses and residents on payment options, if they are needed.
"We recognize the ongoing pandemic continues to have 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."