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City waives penalties, allow deferrals on property tax and utility bills for three months

Council voted unanimously to allow for the deferment of property tax payments and utility bills for Cold Lake residents and businesses, offering relief during the COVID-19 response on Tuesday night.

This is not a waiving of total tax fees, but penalties due to not paying will be tacked on after three months.

Monthly property tax payments being made under the Tax Installment Payments Plan (TIPPS) and payments on utility bills are both being given a three-month deferral of payments for the months of April, May, and June 2020.

During this time, any unpaid utility bills will not be transferred to taxes; utilities and accounts receivable invoices will not be subject to late penalty fees, and there will be no service disconnects for late payment and no non-sufficient-funds (NSF) charges.

The TIPPS program allows taxpayers to make equal monthly installments for their taxes between January and December of any year, without being subject to a tax penalty.

Under the current bylaw, taxpayers can miss two installments without being removed from the TIPPS program, but council has since extended this provision, temporarily, to three months.

Any amounts being deferred on the TIPPS program will be adjusted for the remainder of 2020.

Residents and businesses will continue to be billed so they can choose to pay all of the bill, a portion of the amount, or none of it until a later date.

This will ensure that residents and businesses will be aware of the amounts being deferred. Interest and penalties will not be charged during this time if you choose to defer your payment.

Any residents who wish to discontinue their preauthorized payment plan should contact the city at 780-594-4494 or email [email protected] for the TIPPS program and [email protected] for utility payments.

Residents are reminded not to flush any products down the toilet other than toilet paper.

Items such as paper towels and baby wipes can cause serious damage to the sewer infrastructure.

The city continues to adapt to changes as news on COVID-19 is updated throughout the province.

Another recent change includes Cold Lake Transit using only the back door of the bus to load and disembark passengers.

Riders are reminded to please give the driver adequate space and to practice social distancing and respect other riders’ space when using public transit.

Residents with questions should call City Hall at 780-594-4494. City Hall remains open to the public on a restricted basis.

Currently, only two members of the public are being allowed into City Hall and enhanced social distancing and sanitation measures have been implemented.

The public is also reminded that the current situation is fluid and subject to change.

The latest information will be posted on social media and the city’s website at www.coldlake.com.

The latest information about the COVID-19 situation and the broader response can be found on the Alberta Health Services website at www.albertahealthservices.ca.