Taxpayers used a number of methods to pay their property taxes, including online options that meant they didn’t have to go in, in person, to the Maple Ridge municipal facilities while COVID safety precautions were in place. ((City of Maple Ridge/Special to The News)

Taxpayers used a number of methods to pay their property taxes, including online options that meant they didn’t have to go in, in person, to the Maple Ridge municipal facilities while COVID safety precautions were in place. ((City of Maple Ridge/Special to The News)

City of Maple Ridge collects more than 96 per cent of property tax

Municipal tax deadline was extended to Sept. 30, and most taxpayers met that cutoff

Despite the COVID-19 pandemic, the City of Maple Ridge has collected more than 96 per cent of its 2020 property tax levy.

The 96.4 per cent collection rate is in line with previous years, said Mayor Mike Morden.

The collection rate in 2019 was 97.2 per cent and hovered around the 97-per-cent mark between 2016 and 2018.

Property tax levies are the primary source of revenue for all B.C. communities, the mayor explained.

As part of its response to COVID-19, council extended the property tax payment deadline to Sept. 30. In a typical year, property taxes are due on July 2.

RELATED: Maple Ridge extends tax deadline to October

“COVID-19 has taken a financial toll on many families and businesses,” he acknowledged, extending a big thanks to all those who paided before the traditional July deadline.

“We’re pleased that we were able to provide extra time to those who needed it, in alignment with provincial direction. We will continue to do our part to support our community as we navigate these challenging times together,” Morden said.

Due to the public health orders and safety plans in place for the pandemic, citizens were encouraged to use alternate methods to make their payments. This year, payments made via financial institutions increased by 39 per cent and use of the City’s online payment portal increased 18 per cent year-over-year.

MyCity is an online tool that helps home and business owners monitor and maintain their property tax, metered utility, dog and business licence accounts. This online platform experienced a surge in enrolment, with registrations increasing by 17 per cent so far in 2020. In a typical year, the number of users increases by one per cent.

RELATED: Pitt Meadows residents paid property taxes on time

In the neighbouring community of Pitt Meadows, where the penalty deadline for taxes was also extended to Sept. 30, they reported 94.12 per cent of people paid their property taxes on time – again in keeping with past years.

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