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Tax and water utility mitigation programs

Cancellation, reduction or refunds of property taxes

In accordance with section 357 of the Municipal Act, 2001, the City of Ottawa may cancel, reduce or refund all or part of the property taxes levied in the year in respect of which an application is made for any of the following reasons:

(a)   Changed tax class as a result of a change event as defined in the legislation:
(b)   Land has become vacant land or excess land;
(c)   Land has become exempt from taxation;
(d)   A building on the land:

(i)  was razed by fire, demolition or otherwise; or
(ii)  was damaged by fire demolition or otherwise to render it substantially unusable for the purposes for which it was used immediately prior to the damage;

(d.1) The applicant is unable to pay taxes because of sickness or extreme poverty;
(e)   A mobile unit on the land was removed;
(f)    Taxes were overcharged due to a gross or manifest error that is clerical or factual in nature;
(g)   Repairs or renovations prevented the normal use of the land for at least 3 months during the year and the property is not eligible for a vacancy rebate.

(Application deadline: February 28 of the year following the taxation year of your request.)

(Section 357 of the Municipal Act, 2001)

How to submit an application:

Please complete and submit the application request form or send your request in writing on or before the required deadline:

By mail: City of Ottawa, Revenue Services, Assessment Unit,
100 Constellation Drive, 4th Floor East,
Ottawa, ON K2G 6J8 

By fax: 613-580-2457

By e-mail: taxadjustments@ottawa.ca

Provide the following information with your application request:

  • Your name, telephone number, municipal address, roll number of the property.
  • The reason for your request (see above-noted (a) to (g)).
  • The effective date relating to the reason for your request.
  • Copies of documents that will substantiate your application, for example, for a demolished building: a demolition permit and letter from the demolition contractor showing the starting and ending dates of the demolition and other relevant evidence like photographs showing damages (See the application form for more examples).
  • If you are an agent or representative of a person entitled to apply, you must submit a letter of authorization signed by your principal.

Application Process

The City may contact you if further documents or clarifications of your application are required. The application cannot be processed until the supporting documents are received. The documents required depend upon the reason for the application.

If you require additional information for submitting an application request form, you may contact us by phone at 613-580-2444, (Calls will be recorded for training and verification purposes) (TTY 613-580-2401).

Last updated: December 31, 2015

Property tax and water utility deferral programs

Property tax deferral program

The City of Ottawa offers two deferral programs for property taxes for low-income seniors and low-income people with disabilities. Eligible homeowners may apply for a full or partial deferral of their annual property taxes. Existing applicants must apply to the program annually and verify continued eligibility.

You may apply for the program as follows:

  • Full property tax deferral
  • Partial property tax deferral

Full Property Tax Deferral Program

Under this program, the City defers payment of annual property taxes, at a reduced interest rate, for applicants who meet the current program requirements.

Property taxes may be paid up to date or in arrears at the time of application. There is no deadline for first-time applicants.

Program requirements

  1. If the property is owned by more than one person who are not spouses, then all owners must apply and qualify.
  2. Applicant(s) must have continuously owned the property within the City of Ottawa for at least one year before applying for deferral.
  3. Must be principal residence of applicant(s).
  4. The property must be assessed in the residential/farm property tax class.
  5. The total cumulative amount of deferred property taxes and water and sewer charges, plus fees and interest, may not exceed 40 per cent of the assessed value of the property.
  6. The applicant(s)’ total gross household income from all sources is $42,749 (for 2019) or less. This amount includes income of all residents in the home. The threshold will be increased annually and is based on the annual Consumer Price Index (CPI).
  7. Applicants shall submit a renewal application annually no later than the 1st day of July in the year the deferral is sought.

Low-income seniors

In addition to meeting the program requirements, an applicant applying for tax deferral, or the applicant’s spouse, must be at least 65 years of age and be eligible for benefits under Old Age Security (OAS) pension.

Low-income people with disabilities

In addition to meeting the program requirements, an applicant in this category must either:

  • be receiving on-going disability benefits (such as, the Ontario Disability Support Program), or
  • be eligible to claim a disability amount on your Canada Revenue Agency Income Tax and Benefit Return

Terms of the deferral program

  1. A non-refundable application fee will be charged to the tax account upon receipt of the application.
  2. A non-refundable renewal fee for subsequent year applications, will be charged to the tax account.
  3. Interest on the deferred amounts will be charged at the rate of 5% per annum. These costs will be charged to the tax account.
  4. Approved applicants are responsible for all legal costs associated with the deferral. Legal costs typically relate to title searches, as staff may conduct an annual title search on the property. All legal costs will be charged to the tax account.

Repayment of deferred property taxes

The deferred taxes shall become due and payable at the earliest of the following dates:

  1. When the applicant(s) no longer meet eligibility criteria such as income;
  2. When the property is sold or transferred;
  3. Upon the death of the applicant, unless the applicant is survived by a spouse who continues to qualify for deferral (The tax deferral cannot be transferred to the estate of deceased owner(s));
  4. When the total cumulative amount of deferred property taxes and water and sewer charges, plus fees and interest, exceeds 40 per cent of the assessed value of the property.

How to apply

Applicants must complete and submit an application along with the supporting documentation to apply for the tax deferral program. Included in the application is a waiver providing the City of Ottawa, Revenue Services access to personal information.

There are a number of ways to apply for low-income seniors and low-income people with disabilities under the Full Property Tax Deferral Program:

  1. Print a copy of the application 
  2. Contact us by e-mail at taxdeferralprogram@ottawa.ca 
  3. Send your request in writing to
    City of Ottawa, Revenue Services,
    100 Constellation Drive, 4th floor East,
    Ottawa, ON K2G 6J8
    Attn: Property Tax Deferral Program
  4. Send your request by fax to 613-580-2457
  5. Drop in to 100 Constellation Drive 4th floor East
  6. Telephone us at 613-580-2740 (TTY 613-580-2401) Transactions will be recorded for training and verification purposes

To Return the application form

Please write the property address and tax roll number on all correspondence. Once the form is filled out, return:

  • Mail or deliver to:
    City of Ottawa, Revenue Services,
    100 Constellation Drive, 4th floor East,
    Ottawa, ON K2G 6J8
    Attn: Property Tax Deferral Program
  • by fax to: 613-580-2457, Attn: Property Tax Deferral Program
  • by email at taxdeferralprogram@ottawa.ca 

An acknowledgment letter will be mailed to you, upon receipt of your application.  Once we have reviewed your application for eligibility, a letter of either approval or denial will be mailed to your attention.

Partial Property Tax Deferral Program

The City also offers a partial deferral of property taxes to low-income seniors and low-income people with disabilities. Relief is based on the total tax increase over the previous year rather than a total deferral program as noted above. Both program requirements and relief differ from the Full Property Tax Deferral Program. Details of this program are as follows:

Program Requirements

  1. Property taxes must not be in arrears.
  2. Application for relief is made annually to establish eligibility or confirm continued eligibility; the application must be made by December 31 in the year that the tax relief is being requested.
  3. Applicant(s) must have continuously owned the property within the City of Ottawa for at least one year before applying for tax deferral.
  4. Property is assessed at $500,000 or less and is in the residential/farm property tax class.
  5. The applicant’s total gross household income from all sources is $30,000 or less.
  6. Real property tax increase must be greater than $100 and 5% over the real property taxes of the previous year.
  7. Must be principal residence of applicant(s).
  8. Must meet one of the following criteria:
    1. be 65 years of age or more by December 31 of the year prior to the year for which the application for tax relief is made, OR
    2. be receiving on-going disability benefits (such as, the Ontario Disability Support Program) or be eligible to claim a disability amount on your Canada Revenue Agency Income Tax and Benefit Return.
  9. The applicant agrees to provide the necessary information to the municipality in order to demonstrate that eligibility requirements have been met.
  10. The applicant signs a waiver providing the municipality access to personal information for the purpose of confirming eligibility.

Relief

  1. Relief is based on the total tax increase over the previous year.
  2. Any amount deferred under this program for taxation years before 2001 is subject to the annual interest rate which is the lower of either the bank prime rate plus ½ percent (.5%) or a rate established by provincial regulations. No such interest may be charged for 2001 or subsequent taxation years.
  3. Total amount of tax relief available is restricted to a maximum of 75% of the current assessed value of the property.

Repayment of Partial Tax Deferral

Deferral amounts represent a lien against the property under provisions established under Subsection 319 (4) and Section 349(3) of the Municipal Act 2001 as amended.

The unpaid partial tax deferral shall become due and payable at the earliest of the following dates:

  1. the applicant(s) no longer meet eligibility criteria;
  2. the property is sold or transferred;
  3. upon the death of the applicant, unless the applicant is survived by a spouse who continues to qualify for tax deferral.

How to apply

Applicants must complete and submit an application along with the supporting documentation to apply for the tax deferral program. Included in the application is a waiver providing the City of Ottawa, Revenue Services access to personal information.

There are a number of ways to apply for low-income seniors and low-income people with disabilities under the Full Property Tax Deferral Program:

  1. Print a copy of the application 
  2. Send your request to the City of Ottawa by email at taxdeferralprogram@ottawa.ca 
  3. Send your request to us in writing to the
    City of Ottawa, Revenue Services,
    100 Constellation Drive, 4th floor East,
    Ottawa, ON K2G 6J8
    Attn: Partial Property Tax Deferral Program.
  4. Send your request by fax to 613-580-2457.
  5. Drop in to City office at 100 Constellation Drive, 4th floor East, Ottawa, ON.
  6. Telephone us at 613-580-2740 (TTY 613-580-2401). Transactions will be recorded for training and verification purposes.

Returning the Partial Property Tax Deferral Application Form

Please write the property address and roll number on all correspondence. Once the form is filled out, return:

  • by Mail or deliver to:
    City of Ottawa, Revenue Services,
    100 Constellation Drive, 4th floor East,
    Ottawa, ON K2G 6J8
    Attn: Partial Tax Deferral Program, or
  • by fax to: 613-580-2457, Attn: Partial Tax Deferral Program or
  • by email at taxdeferralprogram@ottawa.ca

An acknowledgment letter will be mailed to you, upon receipt of your application.  Once we have reviewed your application for eligibility, a letter of either approval or denial will be mailed to your attention.

Water utility bill deferral program

The City of Ottawa offers a deferral program for water utility bills for low-income seniors and low-income people with disabilities. Eligible homeowners may apply for deferral of their water utility bills. Existing applicants must apply to the program annually and verify continued eligibility.

Under the program, payment of water bills is deferred for applicants who meet the current program requirements.

There is no deadline for first-time applicants.

Program requirements

  1. Water bills must be paid up to date.
  2. If the property is owned by more than one person who are not spouses, then all owners must apply and qualify.
  3. Applicant(s) must have continuously owned the property within the City of Ottawa for at least one year before applying for the deferral program.
  4. Must be principal residence of applicant(s).
  5. Property must be assessed in the residential/farm property tax class.
  6. Total cumulative amount of deferred taxes and water and sewer charges, plus fees and interest, may not exceed 40 per cent of the assessed value of the property.
  7. The applicant(s)’ total gross household income from all sources is $42,749 (for 2019) or less. This amount includes income of all residents in the home. The threshold will be increased annually and is based on the annual Consumer Price Index (CPI).
  8. Applicants shall submit a renewal application annually no later than the 1st day of July in the year the deferral is sought.

Low-income seniors

In addition to meeting the program requirements, an applicant applying for water deferral, or the applicant’s spouse, must be at least 65 years of age and be eligible for benefits under Old Age Security (OAS) pension.

Low-income people with disabilities

In addition to meeting the program requirements, an applicant in this category must either:

  • be receiving on-going disability benefits (such as, the Ontario Disability Support Program)
  • be eligible to claim a disability amount on your Canada Revenue Agency Income Tax and Benefit Return

Terms of the deferral program

  1. 1.  A non-refundable application fee will be charged to the tax account upon receipt of the application.
  2. 2.  A non-refundable renewal fee for subsequent year applications will be charged to the tax account.
  3. 3.  Water bills being deferred will be transferred to the tax account annually. An annual transfer-to-tax fee applies.
  4. 4.  Interest on the deferred amounts will be charged at the rate of 5% per annum. These costs will be charged to the tax account.
  5. 5.  Approved applicants are responsible for all legal costs associated with the deferral. Legal costs typically relate to title searches, as staff may conduct an annual title search on the property. All costs will be charged to the tax account.

Repayment of deferred water utility accounts

The deferred water account balances shall become due and payable at the earliest of the following dates:

  1. When the applicant(s) no longer meet eligibility criteria such as income;
  2. When the property is sold or transferred;
  3. Upon the death of the applicant, unless the applicant is survived by a spouse who continues to qualify for deferral (The water deferral cannot be transferred to the estate of deceased owner(s);
  4. When the total cumulative amount of deferred taxes and water and sewer charges, plus fees and interest, exceeds 40 per cent of the assessed value of the property.

How to apply

Applicants must complete and submit an application along with the supporting documentation to apply for the deferral program. Included in the application is a waiver providing the City of Ottawa, Revenue Services access to personal information.

There are a number of ways to apply for low-income seniors and low-income people with disabilities under the deferral program:   

  1. Print a copy of the application 
  2. Contact us by e-mail at taxdeferralprogram@ottawa.ca
  3. Send your request in writing to the
    City of Ottawa,
    Revenue Services,
    100 Constellation Drive, 4th floor East,
    Ottawa, ON K2G 6J8
    Attn: Water Utility Bill Deferral Program
  4. Send your request by fax to 613-580-2457
  5. Drop in to 100 Constellation Drive 4th floor East
  6. Telephone us at 613-580-2740 (TTY 613-580-2401) Transactions will be recorded for training and verification purposes

Returning the application form

Please make sure the property address and water account/customer number  are written on all correspondence.

Once the form is filled out, return,mail or deliver to:

  • City of Ottawa
    Revenue Services
    100 Constellation Drive, 4th floor East,
    Ottawa, ON K2G 6J8
    Attn: Water Deferral Program
  • by fax to: 613-580-2457, Attn: Water Deferral Program
  • by email at taxdeferralprogram@ottawa.ca 

An acknowledgment letter will be mailed to you, upon receipt of your application.  After our office reviews your application for eligibility a letter of either approval or denial into the program will be mailed to your attention.

Tax Deferral Program is also available.

Last updated: April, 2019

Farm Grant Program

City Council approved a Farm Grant Program to provide financial relief to working farmers. The grant program will assist eligible farm property owners by allowing the June final tax instalment to be paid in December.

To qualify for the grant, the following conditions must be met:

  • The property must be defined by the Municipal Property Assessment Corporation in the farmlands property class
  • The property must not be owned by a commercial enterprise
  • Taxes have been paid up to date before the June instalment
  • The final tax instalment bill (mailed in May) is paid in full in early December

How the program will work:

  • Penalty charges will continue
  • Notification of the amount to be paid will be communicated to you in the fall
  • The grant amount will be the equivalent of the penalty charges and fees added to your account during the deferral
  • The City will automatically calculate and apply a credit for the grant amount to your tax account; there is no application to fill out

Should you have any questions, please contact Revenue Services from Monday to Friday, 8:00 am to 4:30 pm
(June to August, 8:00 am to 4:00 pm) at 613-580-2444 (Transactions will be recorded for training and verification purposes). 
TTY: 613-580-2401

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Last updated: February 25, 2014