Provincial & Municipal Property Tax Developments during the COVID-19 Pandemic

Property Tax  NEWS  RESEARCH ARTICLE HERO

Updated: April 23, 2020.

Colliers is committed to keeping all Property Tax clients apprised of all provincial and municipal initiatives during this unparalleled period of socio and economic uncertainty. Below is a provincial breakdown of all programs that have been put in place in response to the COVID-19 pandemic; these updates include property tax deferrals, property tax extensions and the removal of property tax late payment penalties.

Due to the fluid nature of this situation, Colliers will continue to update this page as information becomes available.

British Columbia:

Vancouver The City of Vancouver is allowing a 60-day grace period for all property tax payments. Taxes will be due September 1 (Source: Global News).

Building on B.C.’s COVID-19 Action Plan, the Province is making temporary changes to B.C.’s property tax framework to provide financial support for businesses and local governments.

Property tax measures for local governments:

  • Local governments will have the ability to borrow, interest-free, from their capital reserve funds, freeing up billions in assets to cover temporary revenue shortfalls. They will have up to five years to build back the reserve funds.
  • Municipalities will be able to access school tax revenue collected for the Province until the end of the year. If a local government chooses to hold onto the school property tax, it must first be used to pay other taxing authorities, including regional districts.
  • Working closely with the Municipal Financing Authority (MFA), local governments will be able to extend their revenue anticipation borrowing for a second year past the current limit of one year. To minimize impacts on the MFA, the Province is asking local governments to first use the delayed school property tax payment and their own capital reserve funds before seeking short-term borrowing through the MFA.
  • Municipalities will still be required to make all their required remittances to other taxing authorities. Additionally, municipalities will be required to make the full annual payment to TransLink and BC Assessment in August 2020, rather than August and December.

Property tax measures for B.C. businesses:

  • Late payment penalties for commercial properties (classes 4, 5, 6, 7 and 8) will be postponed to Oct. 1, 2020.
  • The school property tax rates for classes 4, 5, and 6 were reduced by 50% in the Province’s initial economic response to COVID-19. Further reducing the provincial school property tax and introducing an equivalent tax reduction for classes 7 and 8 will lower the overall commercial property tax bill for most businesses by an average of 25%.  

Breakdown of tax relief for B.C. businesses:

  • Major industry (property class 4)
    • Budget 2020 mill rate: 3.72
    • March 23 mill rate: 1.86
    • April 16 mill rate: effectively zero
    • Tax cut as a per cent of total tax bill: 4%
  • Light industry (property class 5)
    • Budget 2020 mill rate: 3.72
    • March 23 mill rate: 1.86
    • April 16 mill rate: 1.0561
    • Tax cut as a per cent of total tax bill: 25%
  • Business/other (property class 6)
    • Budget 2020 mill rate: 3.72
    • March 23 mill rate: 1.86
    • April 16 mill rate: 1.1070
    • Tax cut as a per cent of total tax bill: 25%
  • Managed forest (property class 7)
    • Budget 2020 mill rate: 1.87
    • March 23 mill rate: 1.87
    • April 16 mill rate: effectively zero
    • Tax cut as a per cent of total tax bill: 20%
  • Recreation and non-profit (property class 8)
    • Budget 2020 mill rate: 2.29
    • March 23 mill rate: 2.29
    • April 16 mill rate: 0.7844
    • Tax cut as a per cent of total tax bill: 25%

Changes to British Columbia’s property tax framework are in addition to measures announced as part of B.C.’s Action Plan to support businesses, including:

  • Effective immediately, many provincial tax filing and payment deadlines are deferred to Sept. 30, 2020.
  • Businesses with a payroll over $500,000 can defer their employer health tax payments until Sept. 30, 2020. Businesses with a payroll under this threshold are already exempt.
  • Payments for provincial sales tax (PST), employer health tax, municipal and regional district tax on short-term accommodation, carbon tax, motor fuel tax and tobacco tax are also deferred.
  • The scheduled increase to the carbon tax rate, and application of PST to e-commerce transactions and sweetened and carbonated drinks, will be delayed.

Alberta:

The Alberta government is reversing the 3.4% increase to the education tax announced in the 2020 budget – this move will save households $55 million and businesses $32 million a year. They are also deferring the provincial portion of the property tax bill six months. The provincial portion makes up roughly 20% to 40% of the property tax bill depending on the municipality.

Calgary – On April 6th, City Council approved a three month tax payment extension, from June 30th to September 30th without penalty. City Council has also approved the cancellation of any Business Improvement Area (BIA) tax penalties between April and June 30. That means a penalty of seven per cent will still apply for taxes outstanding on July 1 (Source: CTV News).

Calgary TIPP (monthly) payments have had the following calculation applied:

  • January through March 2020 – Installments were calculated from the levy applied in 2019.
  • April through June 2020 – Installments are being calculate on the 2020 assessment and the municipal tax rate. The provincial portion has been removed.
  • July through October – Installments are going to be calculated with the 2020 assessment and the municipal tax rate.50% of the provincial portion is applied. The other 50% is applied as a credit to defer months’ worth of the education amount until after October 1st.
  • November and December – Installments  continue to be calculated with the 2020 assessment and the municipal tax rate. The credit for the 50% of the provincial portion is removed and the remaining portion is applied to the calculations.
  • Cancel participation in TIPP and re-join again in 2020 with no filing fee. However, at time of re-joining any missed instalments must be paid in full. If you delay re-joining TIPP after September 30 and you haven’t paid your 2020 tax bill in full the October 1 late payment penalty of 7% will apply.

(Source:  City of Calgary’s Finance/Tax, Receivable and Payable Chief Financial Office).

Edmonton  The city voted to eliminate the July 1, 2020 penalty for failure to pay current property taxes for both residential and non-residential owners and extended the deadline by two months to August 31. The city also canceled penalties on previous years' taxes on residential and non-residential properties between July 1 and August 31 (Source: CTV News).

Edmonton deferred property taxes from June 30th until Sept. 30, as well as Business Improvement Area Tax Levy payment penalties until at least Aug. 31 (Source: CTV News).

Strathcona County - Strathcona County voted to push back the Property Tax payment deadline to September 30 from June 30th.  Also the 1.2% property tax increase has been dropped to 0.0%.

Wood Buffalo (Fort McMurray)   The regional municipality of wood buffalo has extended their complaint deadline from March 30th to October 1st by by Ministerial Order MSD:022/20

Saskatchewan:

Regina The city voted to suspend payment collection on overdue utility and property tax accounts (Source: CBC News).

Saskatoon The 2020 property tax notices will be delivered by the end of May 2020 and the due date has been extended from June 30 to Sept. 30 (Source: Global News).

Manitoba:

Winnipeg Winnipeg city council has approved a plan to defer property and business taxes for three months. Business and property taxes were originally due May 29th and June 30th and now they will be due at the end of August and September (Source: CTV News)

Ontario:

The Ontario government has extended the deadline by 90 days, to September 30, 2020, for municipalities to submit moneys owing to school boards. This extension will provide over $1.8 billion in property tax deferrals to residents and businesses in Ontario. 

ONTARIO 2020 ASSESSMENT/APPEAL EXTENSIONS DUE TO COVID-19

Appeal Deadline Extension – Due to the COVID-19 shutdown, the 2020 Appeal deadline had been extended From March 31, 2020 to May 29, 2020. If you were unable to meet the March 31 deadline, you are permitted to file your appeal by May 29, 2020.

2020 Reassessment Extension The 2020 reassessment effective for 2021-2024 taxation years has been postponed. For 2021 taxation year, realty taxes will be based on the 2020 phased-in assessment values.

CURRENT MUNICIPAL PROPERTY TAX DEFERRAL PROGRAMS – SEE BELOW

(Deferral of late penalties & Interest charges only – Please inquire with Municipalities to cancel Pre Authorized Payments)

Toronto Toronto announced a 2-month deferral grace period for property tax for bills dated as of March 16 (Source City News).

Mississauga Mississauga announced a 3-month deferral period from April 1 to July 1 (Source City News)

Brampton Brampton announced a 5-month deferral period  from March 18 to Aug 19 (Source InBrampton)

Vaughan Vaughan announced a 2-month deferral from March 20 to June 1 (Source Vaughan.ca)

Caledon Caledon announced a 3-month deferral from March 24 to July 2 (Source Caledon.ca)

Burlington – Burlington approved a 2-month deferral from for the months of April and May. This deferral period is for the April 21 installment for all property owners. Taxpayers have until June 30, 2020 to pay without incurring late payment charges and interest. (Source Burlington.ca)

Oakville The Town has announced a 2-month deferral period from April 24 to June 30 (Source Oakville.ca)

Milton Milton announced a 3-month deferral period from April 1 to June 30 (Source InHalton)

Markham Markham announced a 3-month deferral period (Oct 1 to Dec 31) for businesses properties and a 9-month deferral period (April 1 to Dec 31) for residential properties (Source markham.ca)

London London announced a 2-month deferral period beginning March 31 (Source London.ca)

Kitchener Kitchener announced a 2-month deferral period ending May 31 (Source Kitchener.ca)

Pickering Pickering announced a 2-month deferral period from April 28 to June 30 (Source Pickering.ca)

Oshawa Oshawa announced a 2-month deferral period from April 27 to June 30 (Source Oshawa.ca)

Ottawa - Council approved a deferral period for payment of interim taxes to Wednesday, April 15; the initial due date was Thursday, March 19. Council has also approved the creation of the 2020 Property Tax Hardship Deferral program for residents and businesses that have an assessed property value of up to $7.5 million. The program extends both the interim property tax deadline and the final property tax deadline to Friday, October 30 (Source: CTV News).

Quebec:

Montreal - The City of Montreal is postponing by a month this year’s second instalment in property taxes for both residential and commercial properties; the new deadline for property taxes is July 2 (Source: Montreal Gazette).

Quebec City - announced they have differed property tax for businesses by up to three months. The May 4th deadline has been extended three months to August 4th. The July 3rd and September 3rd tax payment deadlines have been extended two months to September 3rd and November 3rd respectively.

Maritimes:

Halifax on April 14th, Halifax Regional Council voted unanimously to implement financial relief measures to help alleviate the effects of COVID-19. Halifax will be deferring the property tax due date from April 30th until June 1st, as well as lowering the arrears fees for overdue accounts from 15 per cent to 10 per cent, and eliminating non-sufficient funds (NSF) fees which were $40 each. (Source: Halifax Today).

Newfoundland/Labrador - The City of St. John's says residents can hold off on paying their taxes and not incur any interest until August 31. Commercial tax bills for the second quarter are also being pushed back; the city said they will now be sent out in early June (Source: CBC News).

If you have any additional questions, please do not hesitate to contact any one of Colliers’ Property Tax Experts.


For More Information, Please Contact:

Scott Bowden

Head of Valuations & Advisory Services | Canada

Vancouver

Scott joined Colliers International’s Vancouver office in November 2009, working directly with the Head of Property Tax in British Columbia to reestablish the group.  In 2013, Scott was promoted to the role of Senior Associate and focuses on preliminary negotiations with agents of the British Columbia Assessment Authority, as well as playing an advocacy role in front of the Property Assessment Review Panel and Property Assessment Appeal Board.

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Brendan Neeson

Executive Director | Property Tax Services | Alberta

Calgary

As an Executive Director at Colliers International I am fortunate enough to lead a passionate team that assists companies take a proactive approach in reviewing and reducing their property assessments & taxation. With a growing team of professionals we are able to support our clients above and beyond their expectations.

Our goal is to assure our clients that their property assessments are accurate and that they aren’t paying too much in property tax year after year. Located out of the Calgary office I specialize in managing commercial real estate. With over a decade of experience in the industry my focus is on all commercial real estate specializing in Retail, Office, Industrial, Hotel, Multi-Residential and Vacant Land.

I believe that it is very important as a professional to keep up-to-date with industry changes and as a member of ICSC, CPTA, SASCA I am able to keep in touch with influential individuals and to be aware of all industry changes. Currently I am the Provincial Director for ICSC (International Council of Shopping Centres) overseeing Alberta Manitoba, & Saskatchewan. I am also on the executive committee for the Canadian Property Tax Association Western Chapter and currently chair the Western Chapter Market-Value sub committee.

When I’m not at work you can find me relaxing at home with my wife and three kids, at the gym or out at the Hockey Rink/Soccer Field/Baseball Diamond coaching my Son & Daughter's teams.

Feel free to contact me if you want to discuss property assessment & taxation. 

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Saadiq Kassam

Director | Property Tax Services

Calgary

As a Director in the Property Tax Division at Colliers, Saadiq assists companies and landlords in taking a proactive approach in reviewing and analyzing their assessments annually. By doing this, landlords can advise tenants that their best interests are in mind, and that a proactive approach is being taken to reduce their property taxes. Our goal at Colliers is to ensure that our client's property tax burden is fair, and that their assessment is supported by both equity and market value. 

Saadiq is in his 6th year in the industry, and has specialized in various property types including office, hotels, retail and development land appeals.

In his time away from the office, you can usually find him on the golf course or on the slopes! 

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Chris Buchanan

Director, Property Tax Services

Edmonton

As a Director within the Property Tax business unit, I am responsible for managing and providing leadership within the business unit. I oversee and provide a variety of property assessment and tax consulting services to new and existing clients primarily on larger more complex projects. Key responsibilities include negotiating assessment disputes, attendance at Assessment Tribunals, participation in the annual budgeting process, ensuring the team’s actions are consistent with organizational values, policies, practices and procedures, and client relations with various local and national clients.

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Rocky Neufeld

Senior Director, Property Tax Services

Winnipeg

Rocky joined Colliers International as an Appraisal Consultant in 2008.  He has been a member of the Appraisal Institute of Canada (AIC) since 2002, receiving the AACI accreditation in 2006.  Rocky has been working in the valuation of commercial properties since 1996.

His start in commercial real estate was in the field of property tax appeals, and this has remained one of his specialties, along with other litigation appraisal services as well as appraisals for lending, development, acquisition, and other purposes.

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Burke Borowets

Director

Toronto Downtown

Thirty years of commercial real estate experience. Worked for various real estate companies such as Cambridge Shopping Centres, Olympia York/OYCBRE and General Electric Company. Also have good working knowledge in property tax and assessment with over 15 years experience. Formerly employed by Derbyshire Consultants/Altus Group, Dundee Realty Management Corporation, General Electric Company.
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