03/25/2020 16:27 EDT

Property Tax Relief Coming For Ontario Homeowners, Temporarily

The province is freeing up $1.8 billion in municipal cash to delay property tax bills.

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This undated file photo shows an aerial view of suburban homes in Toronto, with high-rise apartments in the distance. Households and businesses across Ontario may get an extra three months to pay their next property tax bills.

Households and businesses across Ontario may get an extra three months to pay their next property tax bills.

As part of its fiscal update Wednesday, the provincial government announced a plan that will allow municipalities to delay collecting property taxes by 90 days.

Municipalities make payments every three months to school boards. Ontario is allowing local governments to delay the June 30 payment by 90 days, freeing up $1.8 billion in municipal cash, which the province is “urging” cities and towns to use to delay property tax payments.

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It’s not yet known which municipalities will take advantage of the program, but provincial officials say the City of Toronto is already at work on a property tax deferral.

Some cities ― both in Ontario and not ― have already moved to defer property taxes. Vancouver has given payers an additional 60 days, and the political pressure is on in other Greater Vancouver cities to do the same.

City councillors in London, Ont., approved a measure Tuesday that would give people an extra 60 days to pay property taxes without penalty. Residents will also get a 60-day reprieve on their water and wastewater bills.

Ontario’s property tax move is part of a $10-billion package of tax deferrals that provincial Finance Minister Rod Phillips announced Wednesday, as part of the province’s fiscal update.

The province is also waiving fees and penalties for companies that are late paying most provincial taxes for the next six months, which the province says will free up some $6 billion in cash for businesses.

Businesses will also get a six-month deferral on paying Workplace Safety Insurance Board premiums, worth about $1.8 billion.

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