Watson Proposes Tax Deferral To Flood Victims

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This is a release from the office of Mayor Jim Watson:

Dear Council Colleague,

The Ottawa River is now seeing higher water levels over the past few weeks resulting from the snow melt from the northern areas of the Ottawa River and higher than average rainfall over the past month.

This has resulted in significant flooding in the low-lying areas that are adjacent to the Ottawa River resulting in the flooding of some pathways and roadways.

To date, about 310 homes in the City of Ottawa have been directly affected by flooding and 75 families have been displaced.  275 of those homes are in West Carleton, 25 are in Cumberland and 10 are in Bay Ward.

While various city staff assist residents during this time, Revenue staff are preparing to mail out the final property tax bills to all residents of the city of Ottawa.  The property tax bills will be placed in the mail in approximately one week.

I am proposing that those residents affected or displaced by the flood have their final property tax due dates deferred to December 7, 2017 to mirror that of the City’s Farm Grant Program.  This will provide some temporary relief to residents most affected by the flood during this time of need so they can focus on rebuilding their lives and properties.

Over the course of the next few months, properties affected by the flood will be identified and a process developed to extend the due dates.

I have asked Councillor Stephen Blais (Cumberland), seconded by Councillor Mark Taylor (Bay), to introduce a motion at Council on Wednesday that will direct staff to develop the tax deferral program over the course of the next 30 days and to bring it back to Council via FEDCO for final approval.

I will be asking that Council waive the Rules of procedure to allow for immediate consideration of this motion and to fast-track the implementation of the tax deferral program for residents impacted by the 2017 flood.

 As Councillor El-Chantiry has been personally affected by the flooding, he has advised us that he has a conflict of interest in this matter, so please do not include him in your discussions on this initiative.

Jim Watson

Mayor

City of Ottawa

 


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4 thoughts on “Watson Proposes Tax Deferral To Flood Victims

  1. He and Wynne should also be contacting Hydro One with regards to hydro bills.

    Anne Marie

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  2. How about also re-assessing the properties so the taxes reflect the actual condition and current value of the properties? This might require provincial intervention to get around the fact that property assessments are done on a particular schedule. It would probably require an exemption from whatever legislation MPAC operates under but surely that could be done.

    An even better solution would be to forgive the remaining property taxes on the affected residences and businesses. Yes, that would cost the city some income but they’ve spent money on less attractive causes. I have no idea if this is even possible but it should be considered. Maybe the way to do it is to set up a fund that people could contribute to with the purpose of reducing or eliminating the outstanding tax bills.

    I can’t imagine the kick in the head it must be to open a tax bill for the property you’ve just seen inundated. That’s beyond cruel – surely there’s a way to identify the relevant properties and pull those bills out before they get mailed out next week. Let’s show some compassion, folks.

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    1. A most reasonable suggestion(s) but as the saying goes, common sense has been lost to the politicians for a long time.

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  3. A taxpayer can make a call to MPAC for a reassessment. I did that once when the back wall and roof collapsed during the winter on a seasonal restaurant I owned. In that case I wasn’t covered for snow load roof collapses at an unattended property and I got a bit angry and didn’t fix ‘er up, I just sold the joint as is.

    Tax deferral sounds good too as long as no interest gets charged.

    Neighbours helping neighbours can’t be bad.

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