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City pushing property tax deadline to August

The City of Grande Prairie is working to extending its property tax deadline until later this summer. The move will push back the final day for payments for residential and non-residential property owners from the end of June until August 31st.

City councillors voted unanimously to get staff to draft up the necessary bylaw amendments and procedures at a meeting Monday. Mayor Bill Given says they recognize a lot of residents and business owners are facing a potential cash crunch.

“Many businesses don’t have any income coming in or their income is significantly changed, and for those people who choose to pay their property taxes all in one shot on the deadline… that can be really challenging.”

All penalty fees for May and July as well as non-sufficient fund charges on the City’s Tax Installment Payment Plan will be removed until September 1st. Tax arrears will also be put on hold for seven months.

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However, Given notes that people waiting longer to pay can have a negative effect on essential city services. He urges people to only use the deferral if they need it.

“Those property taxes are vitally important and those people who own businesses who can pay their property taxes on time and on a regular schedule should.”

Once the bylaw amendments and procedures are prepared, the decision should be made formal at a future city council meeting.

Earlier Monday, the City extended the deadline for anyone using the Tax Installment Payment Plan to cancel or withdraw from the program this month until March 25. The province has also reversed its hike to its education property tax requisition.

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