Sylvan Lake Town Council approves COVID-19 tax and utility payment deferral

Town Council approved the temporary measure to help residents during the COVID-19 outbreak

Sylvan Lake residents can now defer municipal utility until the end of August.

Town Council discussed the measure as a temporary relief for residents suffering during the COVID-19 outbreak, during the March 23 meeting of council.

The additional agenda item was added to the council discussion as many residents brought their concerns to the Town.

On social media, many residents said they wanted to see the Town do more to help their citizen during such an uncertain time.

The approved billing measure will see residents able to defer utility payments until Aug. 31.

During this time the Town will not be charging late penalties to utility accounts until the end of August.

The motion made by Council also included that utility services will not be shut off due to non-payment during this time.

With the Municipal Government Building closed to the public, bill payment can to be done online through online banking. Additionaly, payments can be made by mailing payments to the Town or by using the drop box located outside the Municipal Government Building, at the west enterance.

In addition to the deferral of municipal utilities, Town Council has also carried a motion to allow “property tax account holders the option to defer payments for the current year taxes, until Dec. 31.”

In addition, no August and September late charges will be applied to arrears for the current year taxes.

The deferral of payments for utility bills and taxes is expected to cause a shortfall in the 2020 budget.

The utility shortfall will be made up using the utility reserves, while the shortfall from property taxes will come from the Town’s unrestricted reserves.

“Members of the public are not required to apply or register for these programs, but we are available to assist members of the public with any questions or concerns,” the Town said in a press release.

Residents can call the Town at 403-887-2141 for questions about either program. In addition questions about utility billing can be made through email at ut@sylvanlake.ca, and questions about property taxes can be addressed to tax@sylvanlake.ca.

“Members of the public can also reach us through www.sylvanlake.ca/Report-it.”

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