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Improving Tax Efficiency for Long-Term Fiscal Sustainability

Financial Task Force Recommendations Focus 4: Improving Tax Efficiency for Long-Term Fiscal Sustainability

Incentives to increase TIPP participation through January 1, 2022

The Financial Task Force recommended The City strive for a higher uptake of the tax installment payment plan (TIPP) to smooth City cashflows over time and limit the strain on resources during the tax season.

TIPP is a popular program that allows property owners to pay their property taxes monthly instead of making one payment in June. TIPP helps property owners by making budgeting easier - enabling smaller monthly payments, while avoiding a lump sum payment in June and eliminating the risk of incurring a late payment penalty for missing the deadline.

To increase the uptake and participation in TIPP, Council waived the two per cent filing fee and there is no initial payment required for taxpayers who join TIPP between January 1, 2021 and December 31, 2021.  This has resulted in an uptick in participation with approximately 289,000 property tax accounts being paid through TIPP. This is one of the highest participation rates in Canada. A comprehensive marketing campaign is underway to increase awareness of the benefits of TIPP and changes to the program, as well as, to motivate even more property owners to participate in TIPP.  

TIPP modernization

The Taxation Service is continually looking for ways to evaluate and identify actions that could improve customer satisfaction and increase the uptake of enrolment in the program.

The City recently contracted a third-party survey with approximately 500 randomly chosen property owners, including both TIPP participants and non-participants to: 1). identify barriers to use and identify opportunities to increase TIPP participation; 2). understand ways to improve program accessibility and responsiveness to those requesting to join TIPP; 3). measure rates of awareness and recall of TIPP to find better ways to provide information about TIPP to Calgarians, and; 4). validate and better understand the motivations behind the high TIPP participation rate.

Based on the findings from this research, the Taxation Service has:

  • Collaborated with Law to revise the TIPP Bylaw to reduce barriers to program entry.
  • Started development of an online intake process in partnership with IT that will be enabled through a TIPP Application Portal to improve the taxpayer experience and streamline internal processes.
  • Enhanced communications regarding the benefits of TIPP.
  • Worked with Customer Service & Communications to develop and promote a digital TIPP campaign designed to increase TIPP participation amongst homeowners with an emphasis on Calgarians aged 25-44, who are seen as the most likely potential TIPP participants. 
  • Highest up take ever in Calgary

  • one of the highest in Canada