Burlington offers relief on late tax payments amid COVID-19 pandemic

Residents in Burlington are getting property tax relief in light of the COVID-19 pandemic, according to city officials.

During a meeting on Monday, councillors voted unanimously in favour of waiving penalty and interest charges for those not able to make payments due in April and May.

The city says the move was in response to numerous concerns from both the business community and homeowners experiencing economic struggles amid the novel coronavirus pandemic.

“The temporary property tax relief will allow businesses and homeowners to make their April 21 installment by June 30 without incurring late payment charges,” Mayor Marianne Meed Ward said in a statement on Tuesday morning.

Burlington’s temporary change means no penalties or administration fees will be charged for the April 21 installment and no month-end interest will be charged for all property owners in April and May.

Councillors will decide whether to approve a similar two-month tax deferral waiving penalties and interest for any unpaid tax installments for 60 days.

Mayor Fred Eisenberger says those who can continue to pay their taxes should do so since the city “needs the cash flow.”

Eisenberger says municipalities aren’t allowed to run a deficit and tax payments are needed to run the city amid a significant decline in transit and program revenues, as well as a major spike in COVID-19 related costs in terms of shelters, support for seniors and other areas.

The next tax installment for Hamilton, the second, was due for April 30, with the due date for the third installment at the end of June.

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