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Calgary councillor calling for relief for property tax late payments

Last Updated Jul 28, 2020 at 7:58 am MST

Calgary City Councillor George Chahal meets with Liberal MLA Kent Hehr to discuss gun control in Calgary on Oct. 3, 2019 (PHOTO: Saif Kaiser, 660 NEWS)

CALGARY (660 NEWS) – One city councillor wants to give taxpayers a pandemic break.

Ward 5 Councillor George Chahal has proposed a notice of motion that would reduce or cancel high-interest late payments on property taxes for those struggling to meet economic deadlines.

“A combination of factors, including depressed oil prices and the COVID-19 pandemic, have put an extraordinary amount of financial pressure on many Calgarians,” said Chahal.

“The City has both the ability and responsibility to relieve some of this pressure by reducing or cancelling high-interest late payment penalties on property taxes. We must ensure that those who defer payments because of financial challenges aren’t unnecessarily burdened by these penalties.”

The notice of motion also calls for city administration to push the provincial government to defer the city’s quarterly payments, the government’s portion of the municipal tax bill.

In May, the city extended the deadline to pay property taxes from June 30 to Sept. 30 without penalties.

Despite the call for tax relief, the City has been losing millions of dollars because of shrinking revenue and higher costs for some services during the COVID-19 pandemic.