MEDIA RELEASE: Port Coquitlam Offers Late Fee Relief to Support Taxpayers
PORT COQUITLAM, BC – May 13, 2021… Port Coquitlam residents and businesses facing economic hardship due to the pandemic will have a little longer to pay their 2021 property taxes without incurring penalties.
While 2021 property taxes are officially due on July 2, Council approved changes to cancel the typical five per cent late fee on July 3 and defer the second five percent penalty from Aug. 16 to Sept. 16, providing property owners with an additional month to pay their taxes and submit their home owner grant without penalty This latest round of taxpayer relief was approved along with bylaws confirming the City’s 2021 tax rate and solid waste levies.
“We know the pandemic is continuing to take a toll on businesses and the livelihoods of many of our taxpayers,” Mayor Brad West said. “Cancelling and deferring late fees is something we can do to help, along with continuing our responsible approach to finances that focuses on core city services. Our efforts mean that Port Coquitlam has among the lowest average property taxes in Metro Vancouver, while continuing to provide upgrades and enhancements to our community. Many residents have told us they will do their best to pay their taxes by the deadline, but appreciate this extra breathing room and support if they need it.”
Pushing the deadline without penalty to Sept. 15 will also give residents more time to claim their home owner grant, which requires a new process this year. The provincial government is now administering the grant and applications must be submitted online at gov.bc.ca/homeownergrant or by phone at 1-888-355-2700 rather than through the City. Homeowners age 55 and up also have the option of applying to defer their 2021 taxes though gov.bc.ca/propertytaxdeferment.
“Restaurants, the entertainment industry and many other businesses have been hit hard by the pandemic, so this relief will be welcome news for them and the residents they employ,” noted Cllr. Dean Washington, Council’s designate on budget matters. “We also need to recognize that property taxes pay for essential City services, so we ask people to pay by July 2 if they can.”
The bylaws adopted last night set the stage for a responsible $95.5-million budget that reflects rising operating, utility and other costs beyond the City’s control, and some enhancements to core services that residents have been asking for.
The average home assessed at $779,501 will see a 2.13 per cent ($41.17) increase in taxes this year, taking into consideration that starting in 2021, properties no longer have to pay the $25 parcel tax for the Port Coquitlam Community Centre.
The exact amount paid by each home will depend on how it compares to the average residential assessment of $779,501, and whether their assessed value increased more or less than other properties. Final 2021 assessed values for residential properties went up an average of 6.40 per cent including 3.41 per cent for strata properties and 7.57 per cent for single-family homes.
Focused primarily on core services, the budget will carry through on Council priorities, such as increased bylaw enforcement, along with enhancements to address resident requests, such as extra holiday recycling in 2021, a large item pick-up pilot program, increases in snow removal, City-wide litter collection, park graffiti removal and grass cutting, sport field and court maintenance, and a gender-equity program offering free menstrual products in City facilities.
Information and Resources
To make it easier to pay, residents are encouraged to take advantage of the City’s tax prepayment plan, which divides the following year’s utility and/or tax payments into an equal number of pre-authorized payments. The best time to start is in July. Visit portcoquitlam.ca/prepayment to sign up for 2022.
Residents and businesses can also sign up for a MyPortCoquitlam account at my.portcoquitlam.ca to give them 24/7 secure access to information about their property taxes, utilities and dog and business licences. Subscribers can also choose to receive their tax and utility bills by email.
– 30 –
Manager of Communications & Admin Services
City of Port Coquitlam
Tel 604.927.5335 Cel 604.218.0533