Assistance Programs for Businesses and Commercial/Industrial Property Owners

COVID-19 Non-Residential Property Tax Deferral Program

The City has introduced a Property Tax Penalty Deferral Program for St Catharines for non-residential property owners who have been financially affected as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. The program will defer the property tax deadlines of July 31 and October 30 to November 30, 2020.*

Non-residential property owner eligibility:

  • The property owner must have experienced financial hardship directly related to the COVID-19 pandemic.
  • All property taxes have been paid in full up to and including the June 30 Interim Instalment.
  • The property must be a taxable property in the following tax classes; occupied commercial, shopping centre, parking lot or office property.
  • All other property taxes and subclasses do not qualify for the deferral; these include but are not limited to residential, multi residential, new multi residential, farm landfill, managed forest, vacant land, excess land, farmland awaiting development, industrial, large Industrial and all payment in lieu.
  • Applications must be accompanied by documentation to demonstrate financial hardship in one or more of the following categories; excessive business revenue loss or temporary business closure, or another category of financial hardship related directly to the COVID -19 pandemic, as determined at the sole discretion of the Treasurer.
  • Property owners must apply for the relief by Oct. 30, 2020.
  • Property owners who received compensation from Business Interruption Insurance towards the payment of property taxes do not qualify.
  • Property owners with tenants are expected to pass on the deferral.
  • All applications must be made on the City’s form and must include documentation that reasonably and sufficiently establishes eligibility under the relief program.
  • Applications will automatically be denied if false, inaccurate or insufficient information is provided. Eligibility for inclusion in the program will be determined at the time the application is first approved and changes in financial circumstances before Nov. 30, 2020 will not affect eligibility.
  • The Treasurer’s determinations with respect to eligibility shall be final.

Apply now for the COVID-19 Non-residential Property Tax Deferral Program

Property Tax Rebate for Vacancies in Commercial/Industrial Buildings

In accordance with the Municipal Act, the City of St. Catharines offers a property tax rebate to owners of commercial or industrial buildings that have vacancies.  

How Does it Work?

An entire commercial or industrial building may be eligible for a rebate if it was unused for at least 90 consecutive days.


A vacant suite or unit within a commercial building or a vacant portion of an industrial building may be eligible for a rebate if:

  • It was unused for 90 consecutive days

In the case of a commercial building, the vacant suite or unit is:

  • Clearly delineated or physically separated from the used portions of the building and either capable of being leased for immediate occupation, undergoing or needing repairs that prevented it from being leased for immediate occupation, or was unfit for occupation

In the case of an industrial building, the vacant portion is:

  • Clearly delineated or physically separated from the used portions of the building.

Read our Tax Rebate Application for Vacancies in Commercial/Industrial Buildings.

For more information call 905.688.5600.

Cancellation, Reduction, Refund of Taxes

There are circumstances where a property owner can apply for a Cancellation, Reduction or Refund of Property Taxes. These reasons may include, but are not limited to, a change in property class, or a demolition or fire.

For more information call 905.688.5600.

Rates and Fees Transition Program for City Facilities

At its meeting on Oct. 16, 2017, City Council approved a new rates and fees transition program. It is a three-year transition program, with minimal increments, for businesses that have been operating at City facilities for at least three years and have experienced a substantial raise in their rates and fees.

Businesses that have been operating for more than three years at City facilities who have who have experienced a substantial increase in their rental fees are eligible.

For more information call 905.688.5600.

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