Friday, June 5, 2020

Council defers property taxes & fees due to COVID-19

In response to the severe economic hardship due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Chatham-Kent Council has taken a number of steps to provide immediate relief for local residents and property owners.

Municipal officials say during Monday night’s session council unanimously voted to delay the due date for the next installment of municipal property taxes from May 1 to July 10 and waive late payment charges on current year tax arrears from April 1 to July 10, 2020.

The due date for payment of Business Licenses, Dog Tag fees, Loan Agreements, CIP Agreements, and Accounts Receivables will be moved to June 30, 2020. Late payment charges will also be waived until that date, Municipal officials added.

The changes do not include Provincial Offences Act charges, Legal charges or Building Permit fees.

The Chatham-Kent PUC has not charged interest for any of their customers on 2020 arrears and will continue not charging interest for Residential customers until June 17, 2020.

All other customers will be charged interest for any overdue amount starting April 1st. The PUC will not be disconnecting Residential and Small General Service customers relative to non-payment until after Jul 31st, 2020.

Entegrus also will not be disconnecting electricity for Residential and low volume small business customers until after July 31, 2020, and has temporarily waived charging interest for Residential customers.

“Administration recognizes the intense and severe financial hardship that has crippled business and instantly caused many residents to temporarily lose employment,” Gord Quinton, Chatham-Kent’s Chief Financial Officer, said in his report.

“In these times of sudden economic despair, Administration is proposing some temporary actions that will make a significant difference in citizen’s ability to survive this temporary upheaval. These moves come at a cost estimated to be up to $100,000.”

While financial analysis continues, Quinton said council can expect a recommendation to also change the first final due date from August 4 to September 11, with the second final due date remaining at November 2, 2020.

Taxpayers can request to be removed from Pre-Authorized Payment Plans (PAP) by contacting the Tax department at 519-360-1998 or by completing the Preauthorized Payment Change or Cancellation Form and emailing to CKAR@Chatham-Kent.ca, at least five business days before the scheduled withdrawal.

Otherwise, PAP’s will continue to be processed on regular payment schedules. Post dated cheques will continue to be processed on the date indicated.

Taxpayers can request to be removed from Pre-Authorized Payment Plans (PAP) by contacting the Tax department at 519-360-1998 or by completing the Preauthorized Payment Change or Cancellation Form and emailing to CKAR@Chatham-Kent.ca.

Quinton said the municipality reviewed the actions of more than 50 municipalities as well as the Association of Municipalities of Ontario and other municipal advisory groups across the province.

View the full report to council, here.

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