With the possibility of a rotating postal strike affecting the Central Okanagan, West Kelowna is advising residents and anyone doing business with the municipality to use online services to avoid unexpected delays.
The union representing postal workers in Canada started rotating strike action June 3 and for the first time an Okanagan city, Vernon, was hit on Thursday.
There has been talk of a nation-wide strike but as of this weekend that had not been announced.
To try and avoid getting caught by the strike, West Kelowna sent out its annual property tax notices a week earlier than normal late last month and is now warning property owners their payments could get caught up in the strike if they use the mail service.
To avoid that, property owners are being advised that they can pay their annual property taxes and claim the annual home owner grant online.
Home owner grant applications and property tax payments are due July 7. Late payments, and amounts owing due to unclaimed home owner grants, will be subject to a 10 per cent penalty. Postmarks are not accepted as proof of payment.
Residents are being strongly encouraged to claim their grants online by going to the municipality’s webpage at www.districtofwestkelowna.ca. From there, click the home owner grant button and then the HOG application button. Enter the eight-digit roll number ( there is no need to enter the first three digits: 364) and the five-digit access code. Both numbers can be can be found at the top right of 2011 tax notices.
Property owners can also fax in grant applications to 778-797-8851 or e-mail them to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Payment of property taxes and utility bills can also be made online through most financial institutions. Go to the financial institution’s website and search for the payee West Kelowna.
For property taxes, select West Kelowna—Taxes as the bill payee. The account number is the same as the 11-digit roll number (do not include hyphens or spaces).
For utility bills, select West Kelowna—Utilities as the bill payee and use the account number (no hyphens or spaces) from the top left of the bill. Property taxes and utility bills may also be paid in person through financial institutions as well as the municipal offices at Mount Boucherie.
There is also an outside drop box beside the main entrance of the District of West Kelowna municipal Hall at 2760 Cameron Road.
District officials say cash should not be placed in the drop-box. Cash payments can be made in person at the municipal offices between 8:30 a.m. and 4:30 p.m., Monday to Friday.
The municipality does not accept credit cards but does accept cash, cheques, post-dated cheques, money orders and debit card payments.
Property owners who have already mailed in their home owner grant applications, payments, tax deferment applications or renewal forms are asked to call the West Kelowna taxation department at 778-797-8860 to ensure they have been received.