City proposes property tax relief package for those impacted by COVID-19

Special to WC Online

OTTAWA – The City of Ottawa will make changes to policy to help residents and small businesses manage their tax bill for 2020.

City staff will be tabling an interim property tax payment grace period and new 2020 property tax deferral for council approval on March 25, or at the earliest available opportunity, that will help small businesses and residents impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic.

Grace period for interim property tax payment

With the interim property taxes mailed out in mid-February, the city will grant property owners a grace period for payment – late payment penalty will not be applied during the current March 19 deadline to Wednesday, April 15. The interim property tax bill covers 50 per cent of the entire property tax bill.

Property owners who are enrolled in the pre-authorization debit plan are not affected by the grace period and requires no action on their part.

New 2020 Interim Property Tax Hardship Deferral program

In response to the financial impact of the uncertainty of this evolving COVID-19 pandemic, a new 2020 Property Tax Hardship Deferral program is being developed to assist affected small businesses with an assessed property value of up to $ 2.5 million, as well as residents. The program will extend the interim property and final property tax deadlines of March 19 and June 18, respectively, to Friday, Oct. 30.

To qualify, an account would need to have been paid up-to-date before the interim tax installment.

The application and more details on the program and other qualifying criteria will be available on after it has been approved by council – which convenes on March 25.

Water service disconnections suspended

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the city has suspended all water disconnections due to non-payment until further notice.

Existing deferral and grant programs

In addition to the COVID-19 program, the city has existing deferral and grant programs in place.

Deferral of property taxes and water bills for low-income seniors and low-income people with disabilities

The city has existing property tax and water bill deferral programs for low-income seniors and people with disabilities. Under these programs, eligible homeowners can apply for partial or full deferral of their annual property taxes and a deferral of their water utility bills.

Applying for these programs can be done online via email. Details of the program and eligibility is available on

Farm Grant program

This relief program for hard working farmers allows eligible farm property owners to move the deadline of the final property tax payment to Dec. 8. Details of eligibility and the program can be found on

Payment options

Residents have several payment options for property tax and water bills that can be done from the comfort and safety of their own homes.


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