Council Reviews Extension Of 2020 Property Tax Penalty Deadline for Business to October 1st

Council Reviews Extension Of 2020 Property Tax Penalty Deadline for Business to October 1st

April 30, 2020

Commercial properties (light industrial, business, and recreation/non-profit) in Cranbrook will have an extra three months to pay their 2020 property tax to the City without penalty up to October 1, 2020.

The due date for all property owners remains July 2. Late payment penalties will be applied to unpaid balances on July 3rd for residential, utility and farm properties. The later penalty date of October 1 enacted by the Province, applies to commercial properties only.

In a communique issued on April 16, 2020, the Province announced temporary changes to the property tax framework including measures to provide financial support for businesses. The Province has postponed the application of late payment penalties for property tax on commercial properties to October 1, 2020. The Province has also reduced the school tax rate for commercial properties resulting in a tax savings of approximately 11% for a typical commercial property in Cranbrook.

Council reviewed the temporary changes to the Provincial property tax framework at their regular meeting Monday night and endorsed a July 2 property tax due date for all properties.

The City is strongly encouraging all property owners, including businesses, who can pay, to pay their taxes by the July 2 due date.

The Province has indicated that these are initial steps. They will continue to monitor the situation closely and will make further adjustments or take additional action to ensure the right tools and measures are in place to maintain service delivery of critical local government services and that all local governments remain financially sustainable.

“As about 62.5% of the City’s operating costs are paid for by tax revenue, the timing of the receipt of that revenue is very important. The City has several large contractual obligations including remittances to other public authorities, that have been structured for payment after July 2nd. The City needs to ensure that adequate cashflow is available to meet those obligations and to continue to fund operations for, not only the next six months to December 31, but also to fund operations for the first six months of 2021,” says Charlotte Osborne, Chief Financial Officer for the City of Cranbrook.

“Keeping with a property tax due date of July 2nd and penalty date of July 3 for non-commercial property owners and incorporating the Provinces October 1st penalty date for commercial property owners, will help to minimize risks to the City’s cash position and ensure its financial sustainability,” Osborne adds.

If you have questions, please contact our Finance department by calling 250-489-0233 or 311.

All City property tax notices for 2020 are scheduled to be mailed out in mid-May.