The city of Ottawa saw low uptake from retail and commercial property owners in the downtown core for temporary property tax relief following the “Freedom Convoy’ demonstration.
Friday was the deadline for property owners to apply for the “Convoy Occupation Tax Deferral Program”, allowing property owners to defer their interim and final tax bills until Sept. 15.
The city estimated 900 commercial and retail properties in the Centretown, Lowertown and ByWard Markets were eligible for the property tax deferral program, covering approximately 2,000 businesses.
Deputy City Treasurer – Revenue Joseph Muhuni tells CTV News Ottawa that as of Thursday night, the city had only received applications from properties covering approximately 180 business.
“The City of Ottawa is pleased to offer the Convoy Occupation Tax Deferral Program to retail and commercial property owners impacted by the convoy occupation,” Muhuni said in a statement on Friday.
“The program provides some relief to eligible properties by deferring their interim and final property tax deadlines to September 15.”
To qualify for the “Convoy Occupation Tax Deferral Program”, the property owner had to prove they experienced financial hardships due to the three-and-a-half-week occupation of downtown streets. Property owners who qualify and receive the deferral must pass the financial relief on to their commercial and retail tenants, according to the city.
Residential properties, large commercial office buildings over 7,500 square feet, and properties that make payments in lieu of taxes are not eligible for the tax deferral program.