Burnaby property owners who have become delinquent in their tax bills will have an extra year to pay up before potentially losing their home in the annual tax sale.
City council voted unanimously, recently, to defer this year’s tax sale, which would have taken place in late September, to September 2021. The tax sale is a last resort measure that can be taken by municipalities on properties that have backed up on taxes to the point of delinquency.
Taxes become delinquent when the property owner has not paid taxes for two years prior to the current year, according to a city staff report. Once the property is sold at the tax sale, the owner has a grace period of one year to pay all outstanding taxes or otherwise lose their property.
But finance director Noreen Kassam told council this week that she is not aware of any tax sales being finalized – though one property had come close, with taxes paid within that one-year grace period.
The deferral of this year’s tax sale was billed by staff as an extra protection for homeowners struggling to keep up with bills due to the financial downturn resulting from COVID-19.