Red Deer City Council approved the tax rate bylaw with a zero per cent municipal increase and reduced property tax penalties for the next three years in anticipation of continued economic challenges for Red Deer property owners.
The City has been concerned regarding the economic climate and the financial challenges our community has faced over the past year. In November, Council approved City budgets with a zero per cent municipal tax increase for both 2021 and 2022 to minimize financial strain for Red Deerians. Today, Council also approved amendments to the Tax Penalty Bylaw, which will see current-year property tax penalties halved this year, with steady increases back to normal levels in three years’ time.
“We know many households and businesses are struggling at this time,” said Mayor Tara Veer. “Our objective is to lessen the financial burden on our citizens and businesses, while ensuring The City can continue to provide essential services like police, emergency response and critical infrastructure maintenance.”
Despite the zero per cent municipal increase, there will be a slight tax increase of 0.27 per cent for residential and non-residential properties, which stems from the Provincial Government’s portion collected for education. In addition, multi-family properties can also expect to see a tax increase of approximately 2.37 per cent, which is driven by the provincial requisitions and combined rate.
Traditionally, a 7 per cent tax penalty is applied to current year unpaid taxes on July 1 and September 1, a 7% penalty on arrears taxes is levied on January 1 and July 1. With the new bylaw in place, property owners will see those penalties drop to 3.5 per cent for current year taxes for each July 1 and September 1 and increase gradually over three years, back up to 7 per cent in 2024. The penalties on taxes in arrears will also be reduced.
In addition, City Council also approved the Business Improvement Area (BIA) Tax Rate bylaw. The BIA tax applies to taxable businesses in the downtown to fund the Downtown Business Association (DBA) budget, which was approved by Council in March.
“We are glad to make these changes to provide some financial relief to taxpayers, but we know for some it may not be enough,” said Joanne Parkin, Revenue and Assessment Manager. “We encourage anyone who may not be able to pay their taxes by the deadline to pay as much as they can to reduce penalties, and to reach out to our office to discuss payment options.”
The deadline for 2021 property taxes and BIA taxes is June 30, and any unpaid taxes will be subject to a 3.5% penalty on July 1. Owners can join the Tax Instalment Plan (TIP) by June 15 to extend their tax payments through to the end of the year with equal monthly payments and no penalties.
Property owners who may be unable to pay their taxes in full by the deadline are encouraged to connect with The City. City staff are available to discuss payment options and provide connections to financial supports through the Provincial and Federal Governments.
Tax notices will be sent out May 10 to give property owners more time to make payment arrangements and sign up for the TIP program. Approximately 4,000 households opt to receive their notices electronically, and the remaining notices will be distributed by mail.
Property owners wishing to connect with The City about their tax bill can email email@example.com or call 403-342-8126. More information about the Tax program is available on the City’s website at www.reddeer.ca/tax.
For more information, please contact:
The City of Red Deer