City Council has passed a bylaw authorizing Cold Lake ratepayers to defer their property tax payments for the months of May, June and July, 2021, to help ease the financial pressure on families and businesses caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.
Similar bylaws were passed in the spring of 2020, and for the months of February, March and April, 2021, for which the City received positive feedback from residents and business owners. A combined 61 families and businesses took advantage of the previous two deferral periods.
“We know 2021 continues to be a tough time financially for our residents and businesses, and this council is committed to doing what we can to help ease that financial pressure,” said Mayor Craig Copeland. “We are now well into our second year of COVID-19 and recently the Government of Alberta has tightened restrictions once again. With variants of concern spreading and the vaccine rollout going slower than expected, we are likely in for at least a few more months of this. We know the bills are piling up for lots of families and businesses, and many people are still out of work. We hope deferring tax payments and suspending late fees for 90 days will give our residents who are struggling one less thing to worry about as they work to get back on their feet.”
Ratepayers who wish to take advantage of the deferral must be enrolled in the monthly Tax Installment Payment Plan (TIPPS). Important to note, the tax deferral is not a waiver of fees; it is simply a delay on payment of taxes owed. Once the deferral period is over, the deferred amount will be distributed evenly over the remaining monthly payments. If the total taxes owing are not paid in full by December 31, 2021, the outstanding amount will be subject to the tax penalty bylaw.
Residents and business owners who are enrolled in the TIPPS program and wish to take advantage of the deferral should contact the Finance department at 780-594-4494 or email [email protected].
In addition, Council voted to approve two similar bylaws for the same 90-day period which will prevent overdue utilities and general accounts receivable invoices from being subject to late fees, and no resident or business will have their water service disconnected for late or non-payment.