Mayor wants property tax review postponed during pandemic turmoil

Sarnia Mayor Mike Bradley. September, 2019 Photo by Melanie Irwin

The COVID-19 pandemic, coupled with incredible growth in Ontario’s real estate market, has prompted Sarnia’s mayor to ask for a postponement of the latest market value assessment.

Mike Bradley wants Ontario Housing Minister Steve Clark to delay the four-year review, for at least a year.

“Well, there will be some assessments that go down,” said Bradley. “But, the reality is there will be some very significant increases for a number of property owners throughout the province of Ontario. There is no new money for the city of Sarnia, and there’s no new money for the province. So, delaying it would give people a breather who are looking at substantial increases. There’s nothing to lose for the province or municipalities.”

Mayor Bradley said municipalities are already receiving requests from property owners and businesses to delay property taxes, or to forgive interest that would be owed on late taxes.

He said he recognizes there would be a phase-in period but says it still would be a positive signal for it to be delayed until there is stability in the economy.