Port Moody residents could get more time to pay property taxes

Council will consider options at its meeting on Tuesday

Port Moody may give the city’s residents longer to pay their property taxes this year.

Tuesday, council will consider two options put forward in a staff report that will buy residents more time. 

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One possibility would retain the current due date for taxes on July 2, but extend the date at which they’ll be charged a penalty for late payment to Oct. 1. The penalty would also be reduced from 10% to 5%.

Another would set a Sept. 30 date for payment of taxes with a 5% penalty levied for late payments the next day.

According to the report, such adjustments are permissible under British Columbia’s community charter that governs how cities in the province must be run.

On April 16, the province extended the date for the owners of various commercial properties to pay their taxes without penalty to Oct. 1.

In his report to council, Port Moody’s manager of financial planning, Tyler Ganske recommends retaining  the July 2 due date, but extending the penalty date to Oct. 1, as that would align the timelines for residential and commercial property owners. But it would be out of step with some neighbouring municipalities like Port Coquitlam, which moved its due date for payment of residential property taxes to Sept. 2.

Ganske said the city should receive much of its property tax revenue by July 2 anyway, as lenders remit the portion they’ve been collecting as part of mortgage payments through the previous year. 

Last Tuesday, council’s finance committee recommended the city’s planned 3.62% increase in property taxes be reduced to 1.61%. It achieved that by cancelling several city-funded events, like the community fair, Canada Day celebrations at Rocky Point Park and car-free day in August, as well as scaling back flower planting and boulevard maintenance and cutting transfers of money to various operating reserve funds.

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