City Council today approved a property-tax relief package and water payment grace period for residents and small businesses impacted by COVID-19.

Property owners will have a grace period for payment of interim property taxes and will not incur a penalty if they were unable to pay before the deadline of March 19. The grace period will extend the deadline to Wednesday, April 15. The interim property tax bill covers 50 per cent of the entire property tax bill.

Council also approved the 2020 Property Tax Hardship Deferral program to assist qualifying residents as well as businesses that have an assessed property value of up to $7.5 million. The assessed property value criteria of up to $7.5 million captures 91 per cent of all commercial properties in Ottawa. The program extends both the interim property tax deadline (March 19) and the final property tax deadline (June 18) to Friday, October 30.

The City will provide relief to residents who receive a water bill, adding an interest-free 30-day payment grace period on all unpaid water bills issued before Wednesday, April 1. For water bills issued between Wednesday, April 1 and Friday, October 30, the City will grant a 30-day extension on the due date. These measures will provide residents 47 days to pay their bill. Those on pre-authorized payment plans with water bills issued between April 1 and October 30 will also have their due dates extended and no action is required. The City has extended suspension of all water service disconnections until October 30.

Additionally, all unpaid Corporate Accounts Receivable invoices that the City issued before Wednesday, April 1 will have an extra 30 days to pay, interest free. All Corporate Accounts Receivable invoices issued between Wednesday, April 1 and Thursday, April 30 will also have a 30-day due-date extension.

More details on the programs and the qualifying criteria are available on ottawa.ca.