Toronto to allow 60-day grace period for tax and utility payments

Mar 20 2020, 6:13 am

The City of Toronto is allowing residents and businesses a 60-day extension for property tax and some utility payments.

On Friday, the City said that Mayor John Tory is leading the effort and this immediate extension is part of the city’s ongoing efforts to protect Toronto’s economic success in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic.

“The COVID-19 pandemic has turned people’s lives upside down overnight. We know families are struggling to figure out how to make ends meet while also worrying about their health and the health of their loved ones,” Mayor John Tory said in a statement.

“Toronto businesses and residents need to know that we understand these are extraordinary circumstances and we are here to support them. The immediate grace period announced today will give people relief as we all work to rebuild the economy. We will continue to find ways to offer extraordinary help in these extraordinary circumstances.”

Specifically, homeowners and other residential property owners will have a 60-day grace period on their Toronto property tax, Toronto Water, and Solid Waste bills as of March 16.

And, the 30-day grace period for businesses on tax and utility bill payments that was introduced earlier this week, is now also being extended to a 60-day grace period.

Normally utility bills for water and solid waste are due 21 days after the billing date, which is now temporarily extended.

Under these new relief measures, any late payment penalties for residential and business properties will be waived for 60 days, starting March 16.

“This will ensure that residents and businesses who find themselves facing financial hardship due to COVID-19 can defer their next property tax instalment without penalty. Property tax accounts will be adjusted as necessary to reflect these relief measures,” the city said.

Tory is also trying to ensure that landlords be lenient to renters during this time, like the timing of rent payments for small businesses as there is “severe cash flow difficulties” for them at this time.

Earlier this week, the city set up a Economic Support and Recovery Task Force was launched to identify immediate and longer-term economic recovery strategies for residents and businesses.

And last week, the city set up another task force to help support and provide resources to healthcare sectors in the city to tackle the coronavirus spread.