The Town of Whitchurch-Stouffville has waived interest charges and penalties— on the April installment of municipal property tax bills and the next water bill installment—until the end of May due to the challenges presented by the global COVID-19 pandemic.
For tax bills due on April 17 and water and wastewater bills due on April 27, the town will waive the interest penalty until May 29, at which time each account is due in full. Accounts that have not been paid at that date will have interest applied commencing June 1.
“Council is wanting to help our residents and businesses navigate the extraordinary challenges posed to all of us by the coronavirus,” Mayor Iain Lovatt said. “One tangible way we felt that we could help was to extend the due dates for the April tax installment until May 29 and without fear of penalties or interest being applied.”
The town will be processing payments as follows:
• Pre-Authorized Installment Payment Plan: tax and water payments will be deferred and will be withdrawn from bank accounts on May 29. NSF fees will be applied to any non-sufficient funds.
• Installment Payments: tax and water payments may be made by May 29 at a financial institution, or in the payment drop box at the Town Hall.
• 10-Month Pre-Authorized Payment Plan: tax payments will continue to be withdrawn from bank accounts on the last business day of each month. If residents wish to defer any payment, they will be required to withdraw from the pre-authorized payment plan program. Residents may re-enrol later, however, they will be required to bring their account balance up-to-date at time of enrolment.
• Post-Dated Cheques: Any post-dated cheques that have been received to date for the tax installment or water bill, will be processed on May 29.
• Mortgage Company: Tax payments for residents who have their mortgage company pay their property taxes on their behalf will be processed on April 17.
• Payments made through Financial Institutions: Any tax or water payments made through financial institutions are received by the town within three to four business days and are being processed electronically, therefore the town recommends residents to make payment by May 22 to avoid late fees.
The town is hoping that landlords receiving tax and water bills will extend this interest relief and deferral to tenants.
“These are stressful times, physically, emotionally and financially and this is the least we can do to help our residents who find themselves struggling,” Lovatt said.
These new due dates only apply to the second 2020 installment and do not apply to any amount owing or accounts in arrears.