No tax payment delays in Erin this year

ERIN — Homeowners in the Town of Erin will have tax payments due on March 31 and May 31 this year.

And unlike 2020, no delays or extensions will be provided by the town due to the fallout from the COVID-19 pandemic.

On Feb. 2 Erin council approved collection dates for the $13.8 million in total property taxes it will collect in 2021.

According to staff reports, $3.8 million of that money will be for town purposes, $7.7 million will go to the county of Wellington, and $2.4 million will be split between the school boards.

According to the Municipal Act, up to 50 per cent of last year’s tax levy can be collected by the town.

The collection typically happens in quarterly  payments, but director of finance Ursula D’Angelo explained there are other options.

“There are options for monthly payments where they are divided into 10 equal instalments,” she said.

“There is always that option, where they can sign up for the pre-authorized payments plan.”

If the taxes are not paid on time, a monthly interest charge will be added at a rate of 1.25 per cent, or 15% yearly.

Council delayed the tax collection by a couple months last year in an attempt to help those who had been financially impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic.

This year a survey conducted by the town showed no other municipalities in Wellington County will be providing a break by delaying tax collection, or for any interest rates or penalties.

The idea to delay the taxes again this year was brought up at the meeting by Mayor Allan Alls.

Councillor Michael Robins said he did not believe the delay last year was significantly helpful, so the town should continue with its plan to collect taxes as normal this year.

“I’m not quite sure why we would change that position unless things are turning down more so now than they were before,” said Robins. He later suggested council look into other ways to help as the pandemic continues, noting the high interest rate on the taxes.

“Is there any way that we can modify the interest rate instead of perhaps the collection methodology?” Robins asked.

Councillor John Brennan suggested the town follow the direction of the county, noting, “If there’s a countywide initiative to push back the dates for a month or so, then we can revisit it at that point.”

The interim tax bylaw was passed by council, with no adjustments for the pandemic.