Mayor prepared to give up $1.65 million in possible revenue from late tax penalties.

Budget 2020 redBy Pepper Parr

June 15th, 2020



On June 22, City Council will consider a motion brought forward by Mayor Marianne Meed Ward at committee last week, to get options for cancelling penalty and interest on late tax payments until the end of the year or some earlier time frame.

Meed Ward hands out frnt city hall

Mayor Marianne Meed Ward in a celebratory mood.

The cost of eliminating penalty and interest is $1.65 million. Oakville has already made this decision, Halton Hills hasn’t and Milton is offering an application program to defer penalty and interest.

The City of Burlington is looking at a potential year-end negative shortfall of $3.2 million due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Mayor Meed Ward thanked staff for “doing everything they have done and making the tough decisions to bring that negative shortfall down from an initial $18 million hole through a combination of cost control, reserves meant for fluctuations in revenue like we are experiencing with COVID-19, and other measures.”

Committee unanimously approved a motion to direct the City’s chief financial officer to come back in September 2020 to present at Corporate Service and Strategy Standing Committee (CSSRA) a 2021 Budget Framework Report with budget timelines as we look to approve that budget in Q1 2021.

“We know times are difficult for many residents and businesses who are having difficulty paying their taxes” said Meed Ward.  “We need to explore ways to assist.”

The City has already cancelled penalty and interest on tax until June 30, and also delayed the dates of the next installments to Aug. 20 and Oct. 20. Final tax bills will be mailed out in July.

Property taxes are the most important revenue source for the city to ensure we continue to provide essential services for residents of the City of Burlington during these challenging circumstances. Taxpayers are encouraged to make payments where possible during these unique times.

Meed Ward explained that: “For this reason, myself and fellow mayors across Ontario and Canada continue to urge the federal and provincial governments to step up and provide relief funding for municipalities. I encourage you to reach out to your MPs and MPPs and let them know your City needs financial relief so that you can continue to make use of the services and programming you need in Burlington.

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