Emergency property tax relief during COVID19

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Exterior of City Hall

The March 31 tax instalment is due today; if you don't pay, there's no penalty for up to 60 days. The March 31 pre-authorized payments have already been processed. The relief measure is also in place for the May 29 tax instalment.

Peterborough ON - An emergency property tax relief measure to assist residents and businesses through the COVID-19 pandemic was unanimously approved by Peterborough City Council at its meeting on Monday, March 30, 2020.

Peterborough residents and businesses can defer their property taxes for up to 60 days without penalty for both the March 31 and the May 29 instalment due dates.

The City is also considering other options to provide financial relief for residents and businesses during the COVID-19 pandemic with recommendations expected at a Council committee meeting in May.

The property tax relief measures give people who are experiencing financial hardship additional time to recover, Mayor Diane Therrien said.

“People are focused on their health and the health of their loved ones during the COVID-19 pandemic. People shouldn’t have to worry about the tax due dates,” Therrien said. “We’re going to look at other actions that we can take to help our community recover as we move forward.”

The priority right now needs to be the health and safety of the community, said Councillor Dean Pappas, the Finance Chair.

“Council’s taking action to protect the health and safety of the community – and recognizing the financial pressures being faced by residents and businesses during this time,” Pappas said. “This is a first step. We’re going to need to adapt and change as the situation is changing.”

Council made the decisions during its first meeting after the Province changed provincial legislation to allow municipal councils to hold virtual meetings during declared emergency situations. The City had cancelled a meeting scheduled before the provincial changes due to the public health guidance on physical distancing and the prohibition on public meetings of certain sizes.

The City of Peterborough continues to provide essential and important services, such as fire protection, wastewater treatment, garbage collection, social services, and transportation services and infrastructure.

Peterborough Utilities, which is owned by the City of Peterborough, is providing financial relief to customers including refunding electric security deposits, not applying late payment charges, suspending collections of arrears for both electricity and water customers until July 31, and halting service disconnections.

Motion on the property tax relief measure:

  • That the application of penalty for unpaid property taxes that would otherwise be owning at the March 31 and May 29 instalment due dates respectively be deferred for a period of 60 days; and
  • That due to the declaration of a state of emergency by the Province and the City, staff report to a General Committee in May 2020 on further options for a long-term plan to provide relief for ratepayers of the City of Peterborough.

The COVID-19 situation is evolving. New decisions may be made affecting municipal services and facilities. For an up-to-date list of affected municipal services and facilities, please visit www.peterborough.ca/covid19.

Other details:

The City of Peterborough will be automatically waiving penalty charges on payments received up to 60 days past the March 31 and May 29 due dates. This does not require taxpayers to take any action.

Pre-Authorized Payments (PAP)

Monthly PAP – Pre-authorized payments scheduled to come out at the end of the month will be withdrawn. Returned payments will not be subject to the City's $35 administrative fee. If you would like to pause or cancel monthly PAP payments, please contact the tax office at tax@peterborough.ca or call 705-742-7777 ext. 1865 by the 21st day of the effective month. For monthly PAP accounts which are paused, the deferred payments will be spread out over the remaining months of the year.

Instalment PAP – If taxpayers do not wish to have the May installment withdrawn as scheduled, please contact the tax office by May 21 at tax@peterbrough.ca or call 705-742-7777 ext. 1865. The property owner can then arrange to pay the missed payment using another method.

Post-dated cheques – Cheques which were post-dated to March 31, 2020 have been applied to accounts. Taxpayers wishing to have their May 29th post-dated cheque not cashed should contact the tax office by phone or email and we will destroy the cheque.

Payments made by mortgage companies – If your mortgage company is responsible for making your tax payments, please contact them directly.

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For additional information, members of the media are invited to contact:

Brendan Wedley, Manager of Communication Services

City of Peterborough

705-742-7777 ext. 1636