Past Due Property Tax Payments
If your account has fallen past due and you are having difficulty in making your tax payments, please call:
- 311 if you are within city boundaries
- (519) 255-2489 if you are outside city boundaries (or if you are calling from a business phone that has not been programmed to recognize "311")
- 1-877-746-4311 for toll-free long distance
Customer service representatives and collection staff are also available to answer in-person inquiries at the Finance Office located at 350 City Hall Square.
Once your account is past due, you will be subject to penalties and interest of 1.25% per month which can equal 15% per year if left unaddressed for too long. You will be notified through arrears notice letters, which also carry progressively increasing fees. If your account exceeds being three (3) years past due, you may be subject to a tax registration lien (see "Tax Lien" explanation below).
As a first step in bringing your account up-to-date, taxpayers are encouraged to seek alternate lower cost/longer-term financing through external options such as financial institutions. Assistance through the City is provided by way of the following programs:
Tax Repayment Program
A tax repayment plan is available to all property owners through City Administration. The maximum extension is five (5) years (or 60 months). Minimum monthly payments can be arranged with staff so that your account will be up-to-date and current over the five (5) year (60 month) term. While on the plan, you will also be encouraged to make lump-sum payments at any time during the term of the agreement. This will assist in getting your account brought up-to-date more quickly. Please note, however, that late payment charges, which include penalties and interest, will still be applied to your account while on the repayment plan until the account becomes current.
Tax Relief Program
A tax relief program is available to assist residential homeowners with temporary tax relief. Full or partial relief from the prior year’s property taxes (2013) may be granted for a period of up to two (2) years to eligible applicants. To qualify, the following minimum thresholds must be met:
1) Family unit income must be less than the following income thresholds:
- 1 Person $20,065
- 2 Persons $24,978
- 3 Persons $30,707
- 4 Persons $37,283
- 5 Persons $42,285
- 6 Persons $47,692
- 7 Or More Persons $53,097
Family unit, for purposes of determining family unit income, is defined as all registered owners, spouses, and any occupants 18 years of age or older. Children below the age of 18 in full time attendance at a qualifying educational institution are excluded.
2) Assessment value of the home is $150,000 or less
3) Financial savings/assets as at December 31, 2013 cannot exceed an amount of two (2) times the property taxes billed.
4) No other property can be owned.
Application must be submitted by February 28, 2014, to receive tax relief for taxes billed in 2013.
If your property taxes have not been paid in the last three (3) years, your property may be subject to a tax registration lien. Upon registration of said lien, a $1,450 non-refundable fee will be added to your account.
A tax registration lien means that the property can be offered for sale by the City after waiting the mandatory one-year waiting period. The minimum asking price (cancellation price) will be all outstanding taxes including penalties and interest, administrative fees, and any additional amounts which may be added to the tax account. There is no requirement for the City to obtain fair market value for the property.
If you have had a tax registration lien placed on your property and the one-year period has not yet lapsed, you may still enter into a repayment plan by way of a formal extension agreement. Minimum monthly payments can be made that will bring your account up-to-date and current over five (5) years (60 months). Taxpayers are also encouraged while on the plan to make lump-sum payments at any time during the term of the agreement.
Tax sales are held annually, usually in late spring and early fall.