Paradise, St. John's offer tax relief for residents, businesses

Meg Roberts/CBC

Two municipalities on the northeast Avalon are offering its residents more time to pay their taxes, in the face of the COVID-19 pandemic.

St. John's Mayor Danny Breen said thetax deferral means there will be on intereste charged to residential and commercial homeowners until Aug. 31, 2020.

"It has been very difficult on businesses and individuals, and we just felt that after the state of emergency with the snow and now into this issue that residents needed a bit of time, along with businesses to deal with the issues facing them," Breen said Monday.

The Town of Paradise is offering something similar, albeit with a different timeline. 

Council is deferring tax payments until the end of June, effective immediately, and no interest will be charged until June 30. 

The extension applies to residential, commercial and business taxes.

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Paradise Mayor Dan Bobbett said this is one way to offer people a small bit of certainty during these unprecedented times. 

"There was a few [residents] that reached out, and then we looked at it, and said, 'Yeah, no problem, we'll do that.' And that's something that we could do, and do our part, and help out where we can," he told CBC News.

"Hopefully [by] June, everything will start settling down. But if not, then we'll look at things as we go further."

The town said tax payment deferral is also available to residents who already have pre-authorized payment plans for their taxes.

Anyone seeking a deferral can complete a form on the town's website, or submit the form via email. The website states that staff will follow up to make the appropriate arrangements.

Other St. John's changes

The City of St. John's also announced Monday it will not charge interest on water meter taxes up to and including Aug. 30.

The city also noted that these changes don't affect Robin Hood Bay tipping fees — though the scheduled increase from $67.60 to $75 has been delayed to Aug. 1.

Jeremy Eaton/CBC

The vacancy allowance claim period will also be extended for commercial property owners. The city said claims for the first quarter will now have a deadline of May 31.

Commercial tax bills for the second quarter are also being pushed back. The city said they will now be sent out in early June.

Anyone with questions or concerns about these changes is urged to call the City of St John's at 709-576-8251.

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