Properties home to 180 downtown businesses apply for Ottawa’s post-convoy tax deferral program

The City of Ottawa has seen low uptake by downtown retail and commercial property owners for temporary property tax relief following the Freedom Convoy protest.

Friday was the deadline for property owners to apply for the “Convoy Occupancy Tax Deferral Program,” allowing property owners to defer their interim and final tax bills until September 15.

The city estimated that 900 commercial and retail properties in the downtown, lowertown and Byward Markets were eligible for the property tax deferral program, covering about 2,000 businesses.

Deputy City Treasurer – Revenue Joseph Muhuni told CTV News Ottawa that as of Thursday night the city had only received applications for properties covering about 180 businesses.

“The City of Ottawa is pleased to offer the Convoy Occupancy Tax Deferral Program to retail and commercial owners impacted by convoy occupancy,” Muhuni said in a statement Friday.

“The program provides some relief to eligible properties by extending their interim and final property tax deadlines to September 15.”

To qualify for the Convoy Occupation Tax Deferral Program, the owner had to prove that he was experiencing financial hardship as a result of occupying downtown streets for three and a half weeks. Landlords who qualify and receive the deferral must pass the financial relief 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.

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