Time to pay your property taxes

Property taxes are due July 4 across the Central Okanagan.

Property owners across the Central Okanagan are being reminded that their annual property taxes are due next week.

In Kelowna, West Kelowna, Lake Country and Peachland and on the Westbank First Nation reserves, 2017 property tax payments must be received by Tuesday, July 4. In the case of residents living in the regional district’s Okanagan East and West electoral areas, property taxes are paid to the province and must be received by July 4 as well.

Depending on where you live in the Central Okanagan, the time of day on July 4 that the payment must reach the municipality will differ.

In Kelowna, property owners have until midnight on July 4 to get the payment in.

Kelowna property taxes can be paid in a number of ways, including:

• Via online/mobile banking, as a bill payment, which is recommended by city staff as an easy, fast and convenient payment method

• At drop boxes that are emptied nightly located 24/7 at the city hall Water Street entrance and Doyle Avenue parking lot exit, and during regular business hours at the Parkinson Recreation Centre (include the tax roll number on the cheque)

• By mail and in person at city hall

Payments can be paid by cash, cheque, money order or debit card. It is recommended this year that property owners in Kelowna pay their taxes online versus in-person as construction in downtown Kelowna may make it difficult for customers to access city hall, says the city’s finance department.

In West Kelowna, tax payments must be received by the city by 4:30 p.m. on July 4.

Postmarks are not accepted as proof of payment. To avoid possible penalties, residents who have not yet paid their property taxes are encouraged to pay via one of the following options:

• In person, online or by telephone banking through most Canadian financial institutions

• Via courier or in person directly to West Kelowna city hall

An exterior payment drop box, located on the wall to the right of the main city hall entrance, is also available.

In Peachland, the municipal hall will stay open until 6 p.m.—the deadline there—to give property owners an opportunity to pay before the deadline.

Like other municipalities in the area, taxes there can be paid via in person, through financial institutions and online through internet banking.

In Lake Country, the deadline is 4 p.m. July 4 and taxes can be paid at the district hall, through financial institutions and online.

For residents of the Westbank First Nation reserves, annual property taxes must also be paid by 4 p.m. and can be paid in person at the WFN office on the Westside, through financial institutions and through online banking. Unlike the municipalities, the WFN also accepts credit card payments for annual property taxes.

There is a lock box available to drop off payments at the WFN office but it is located inside and, as a result, will not be available after 4 p.m.

Everyone paying their property taxes is reminded to apply for the provincial homeowner grant.

“The provincial homeowner grant is great for reducing the amount of taxes you pay,” says City of Kelowna revenue supervisor Angie Schumacher. “Due at the same time as your taxes, the grant can help you save on your property taxes every year.”

Residents submitting payment through through their financial institutions are reminded that financial institutions will no longer process homeowner grant applications, even if they have done so in the past. So the property owner must remember to apply for it.

Some residents may be eligible for a provincial property tax deferment program. Residents must check their eligibility, apply for the homeowner grant and submit their application to the City of Kelowna.

It is recommended that interested residents apply early to confirm their eligibility. Owners who are already in the deferment program will receive an authorized renewal notice from the province as only those authorized forms will be accepted for renewal. For more information and to apply for deferment, contact the municipality to which you pay your taxes.

All property owners are urged to pay their taxes on time as failure to do so will result in an immediate penalty of between five and 10 per cent depending on the jurisdiction.