Rural residents throughout northern Ontario have been given a 90 day extension on Provincial Land Taxes, to offset financial hardships incurred from COVID-19.
During the outbreak, the Ontario government is deferring $15 million in property taxes for people and businesses in parts of Northern Ontario located outside of municipal boundaries. This tax deferral builds on the $10 billion in cash flow supports made available to people and businesses as part of Ontario's Action Plan: Responding to COVID-19.
“This is critical relief for over 63,000 residents and businesses in unincorporated areas across our north," said Greg Rickford, Minister of Energy, Northern Development and Mines; Minister of Indigenous Affairs. "Our government is diligently working to provide support to all Ontarians, including those in the far reaching regions of our province. Every community in Ontario is feeling the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic and our government is ensuring that no one gets left behind.”
Rod Phillips, Minister of Finance agreed. “Our government is taking action to protect every person and every business across Ontario during this unprecedented time, including remote parts of Northern Ontario," he said. "All communities are feeling the impacts of this global outbreak. That's why we're providing a measure of relief for the owners of over 63,000 residential and business properties outside municipal boundaries.”
The Provincial Land Tax is the property tax paid in unincorporated areas of northern Ontario outside municipal boundaries. The Province directly collects this tax to help fund community services, such as policing, land ambulance, public health and social services in unincorporated areas.
Through these measures, Ontario is giving taxpayers in unincorporated areas more time to pay each of the four 2020 Provincial Land Tax installments. Taxpayers will have 90 extra days to pay without incurring interest or penalties. For example, taxpayers who would be required to pay the April 7 property tax installment will have until July 6 to pay without interest or penalties.
This action is complementary to new support for municipalities that was announced in Ontario's Action Plan: Responding to COVID-19. In this plan, the Province announced it is deferring the upcoming quarterly (June 30) remittance of education property tax to school boards by 90 days. This will provide municipalities with the flexibility to, in turn, provide property tax deferrals of over $1.8 billion to local residents and businesses.
This deferral of unincorporated area property tax payments applies to all of the levies that are collected through the consolidated Provincial Land Tax bill. This includes Provincial Land Tax, education property tax, and any Local Road Board and Local Service Board levies that are paid through the Provincial Land Tax bill.
To ensure this deferral does not have a financial impact on Local Roads and Services Boards, which provide additional services in these remote communities, the Province will continue to make payments to these partners, as scheduled. In addition, to ensure this does not have a financial impact on school boards, the Province will adjust payments to school boards to offset the deferral.
“Additional cash flow during these tough times can help keep food on the table for people in every corner of the province," said Minister Phillips. "That's why we've made $10 billion in cash flow support available through tax and other deferrals as part of Ontario's Action Plan: Responding to COVID-19. The Province is doing its part and we're grateful to our partners in the other levels of government for doing theirs.”
Ontario's Action Plan: Responding to COVID 19 includes $7 billion in direct supports for health care, people and jobs and makes available approximately $10 billion in support for people and businesses through tax and other deferrals to improve their cash flows. This $17 billion plan outlines the government's first steps in response to COVID-19.