Today, Toronto City Council approved the implementation of a Property Tax Payment Deferral Program due to COVID-19. The new program offers property tax payment relief for business property owners who continue to experience severe impacts from COVID-19 after the current grace period concludes. Qualifying property owners are eligible to have late payment penalties and interest amounts waived for a period of up to six months, from June 1 to November 30, 2020, depending on the date of eligibility. This will provide substantial relief for many business property owners who are forecasting severe hardship with a gradual economic re-opening over the summer months.
Property owners must submit an application and supporting documentation. The following is the eligibility criteria for the program:
- The property owner must have experienced severe demonstrable financial hardship directly related to the COVID-19 pandemic (i.e. extreme business revenue loss or business closure)
- Applications must be accompanied by documentation or proof to demonstrate severe financial hardship, as set out in Schedule 1 of the report, or as otherwise deemed acceptable proof in the sole discretion of the Controller.
- All property taxes must have been paid up to date before the March 2020 interim installment.
- The property must be either:
a. A taxable residential property with a residential structure; or
b. A taxable property assessed in the following tax classes; occupied commercial, residual commercial, shopping, office, industrial, multi-residential or new multi-residential class and have a total taxable 2020 property assessment value equal to or under 10.0 million.
- Property owners may apply for the deferral at any time between June 1, 2020 and October 31, 2020. Applications received and approved before July 31, 2020 will be eligible to have late payment penalties and/or interest amounts added to the tax account in June and July waived, as well as any penalties or interest incurred up to November 30, 2020. Applications approved after July 31, 2020 will be eligible to have late payment penalty or interest amounts waived from the date the application is approved, and up to November 30, 2020.
- Late payment penalties and interest charges will only be waived where payment in full for all property taxes owing for the year has been received by November 30, 2020. Where any portion of property taxes remain unpaid after November 30, 2020 (excluding any supplementary or omitted taxes that may have been levied for the year and which are not yet due), any late payment penalty or interest charges incurred will remain due and payable on the account.
- The property will be ineligible for a waiver of late payment penalty or interest charges if false or inaccurate information is provided in the application. Eligibility for inclusion in the program will be determined at the time the application is first approved and changes in financial circumstances before November 30th will not affect eligibility.
If you have questions or need assistance with the application process please reach out to our Municipal Team.
City Council remains concerned with the future of commercial real estate in light of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. With many residents concerned for the survival of landmark restaurants and other local businesses that define the City’s neighbourhoods, Toronto is being pressed to provide relief even as it lobbies the Ontario and Federal Governments for sector support. There will likely be additional developments on this front at the municipal level over the next four weeks with the resumption of regular Committee Meetings.