It’s tax time in the Central Okanagan

It’s tax time in the Central Okanagan

Property taxes must be paid by July 3 to avoid financial penalties

It’s municipal property tax payment time again, and unless you want to a face a financial penalty, you need to pay by the July 3 deadline.

Here’s some information to help you pay your taxes in the four central Okanagan municipalities and the unincorporated areas of the Central Okanagan Regional District.

Kelowna

In Kelowna, to avoid line-ups at the counter at city hall, the city says the most convenient way to pay your annual property taxes is online, or by telephone banking, through your financial institution.

Taxes can also be paid in person by cash, cheque, money order or by debit card at City Hall (1435 Water Street, open weekdays 8 a.m. to 4 p.m.). But remember, city hall will be closed on Monday, July 2 because the Canada Day statutory holiday falls on Sunday.

Payments can be made over the weekend online using the drop boxes located at city hall—next to the Water Street main entrance and at the Doyle Avenue parking lot exit. A tax payment drop box is also at the Parkinson Recreation Centre’s front counter.

Payments can be mailed to the city but must reach city hall before the deadline and the public is being reminded postmarks are not accepted as proof of payment.

Payments made after 4 p.m. on July 3 face an immediate five per cent penalty. A further five per cent penalty will be applied for any outstanding amount after Aug. 8.

The penalties are provincially legislated by the province and are not discretionary.

Other municipalities in the Central Okanagan charge the full 10 per cent penalty on any taxes not paid as of their deadlines on July 3.

West Kelowna

In West Kelowna, tax notices were sent out at the end of May to more than 13,000 property owners and payments are due by 4:30 p.m. on July 3.

Like Kelowna, the West Kelowna municipal offices will be closed on July 2.

Payments can be made in person, online or by telephone banking through most Canadian financial institutions, as well as via courier or in person directly at the West Kelowna municipal offices at 2760 Cameron Road, West Kelowna.

Anyone unable to visit the municipal offices during regular business hours—8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Monday to Friday excluding holidays—can use the exterior payment drop box located on the wall to the right of the main entrance.

Do not include cash in the drop-box and make sure all accompanying paperwork is completed in full.

Peachland

In Peachland, the same rules apply about the July 3 deadline and the immediate 10 per cent penalty for late payment. Payments are accepted by cash, cheques and debit cards. There is a drop-box available at the district hall, say staff

Lake Country

In Lake Country, property owners have a few extra hours to pay their taxes as the deadline there this year is property taxes are due by 6 p.m. July 3.

As in other municipalities, the municipal hall will be closed July 2.

Payments can be made by post-dated cheque (mailed early or dropped off by July 3. If mailed, it must be postmarked before the due date), through most financial institutions in person or via online banking or in person at the municipal hall by cash, cheque or debit.

If paying by debit, property owners should check with their bank and make sure their daily limit for debit transactions will cover the amount. Credit cards are not accepted for property tax payments.

Like West Kelowna and Peachland, a 10 per cent penalty will be applied immediately for any amount outstanding after the deadline July 3.

Regional District of Central Okanagan

For residents of the unincorporated areas of the regional district—Central Okanagan East and West—their process is a little different.

Their payments go directly to the province, not the regional district, so if you are a rural property owner in either electoral area, your tax notice was sent from the Surveyor of Taxes in Victoria. And it’s the province that collects rural, school, and regional district taxes.

For payment information, go to the provincial government’s How to Pay your Rural Property taxes webpage.

Also, all the municipalities and the regional district are reminding taxpayers to remember to claim the provincial homeowner grant to reduce the amount of taxes due. Eligible residents must apply for the grant each year even if they pay their mortgage through a financial institution because financial institutions will not apply on behalf of individuals.

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