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RELEASE- Property tax penalty deferral announced due to COVID-19 pandemic

Post Date:05/13/2020 11:07 AM

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

May 13, 2020

Property tax penalty deferral announced due to COVID-19 pandemic

LETHBRIDGE COUNTY– Lethbridge County recognizes that citizens may be facing financial challenges due to the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic and at the May 7 Council meeting, measures were approved to help ratepayers experiencing financial pressures.  Bylaw 20-12- 2020 Tax Penalty was passed, deferring the 2020 property tax penalties until October 1, 2020.

The provincial government has announced short-term property tax deferrals, specifically around Non-Residential School Requisition Tax, which will have a financial impact to the County.  The County relies on property taxes as an essential source of revenue to fund the operations of the municipality and provide essential services to our citizens, such as road maintenance, utility services, planning and development, etc.

The 2020 Operating Budget expenses are $28,201,410 for delivery of services, $15,458,355 of which is funded through the tax support. Administration is asking that those who are able to pay their property taxes by the due date, do so to ensure the County has adequate cash flow going forward to deliver these essential services.

Property taxes are due on July 31, however following the direction of the Province, Council felt that deferring this year’s penalties to October 1 would assist property owners who have been financially impacted by the pandemic. It is important to note that the deferred penalties are not a deletion of taxes, as payment will still be required.

Property tax notices will be mailed at the end of May with details on methods of payment and a reminder of the revised penalty date.

If you are currently enrolled in the County’s Tax Installment Payment Program (TIPP) and are experiencing financial difficulty due to the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic, please contact the County’s administration office to discuss options.  Staff are available at (403) 328-5525 Monday to Friday from 8:30 am to 4:30 pm.  Property owners that have residential property taxes included in their mortgage should contact their financial institution for information.

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