Tax Arrears

Tax Arrears

Understanding Liens and Arrears

  • The tax bill is due upon receipt. That said, accounts in arrears are not all considered to be delinquent accounts. For example, many residential property owners do not pay until just before interest is applied, or they pay in post-dated cheques.
  • Unpaid taxes form a lien; if a residential property owner gets their January bill and provides two cheques for the end of January and end of February, technically a lien exists for the unpaid taxes until the cheque dated for the end of February clears the bank.
  • Business realty is billed in arrears so technically all commercial properties would be subject to liens.
  • Interest is 1.25 per cent per month compounded monthly.

City Tax Collection Efforts

  • Our tax collectors work with individuals and businesses who are in arrears to develop suitable payment arrangements.
  • Municipal tax accounts which are deemed to be delinquent due to substantial financial hardship may be referred to the Payment Review Board for special considerations.
  • When arrangements cannot be made, the City is forced to use a variety of means to collect taxes owed, ranging from demand letters to water discontinuation notices to legal action, including statements of claim.
  • Numerous water discontinuation letters are issued annually and the City will cut water to residential and commercial properties based on the individual circumstances of each account. The City will not cut off water in the winter months, and of course this action can only be applied to properties with structures and services.
  • As a last resort, property accounts which remain unpaid are referred for tax sale. Tax sale of property is limited to non-owner occupied property. The only resort for owner occupied property is referral to an outside collection agency and possible suit through the courts.

To view yearly Accounts Receivable please see the Tax Amount Owing files under the Budget tab in our Publications section.