Saanich residents unable to pay property taxes on time will face face staggered late fees. (Black Press Media file photo)

Saanich staggers property tax penalties, alters payment methods

Tax notices to be mailed before the end of May

Saanich residents unable to pay 2020 property taxes on time face staggered late fees rather than a lump sum as council recognizes financial hardships caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.

On April 27, Saanich council finalized the 2020 budget along with an annual property tax increase of 2.4 per cent – about $65 more than the average property owner paid in 2019.

The proposed tax increase was originally 7.2 per cent but was reduced to 3.74 per cent on March 31 when council agreed to a status quo budget in light of the health crisis. On April 20, council reopened budget discussions reducing the increase to 2.4 per cent by transferring fewer funds to the District’s capital reserve fund.

“We’ve tried to be as understanding as possible,” said Mayor Fred Haynes, adding council considered a zero per cent increase but there was concern over municipal services. With a 2.4 per cent tax increase, Saanich will still be able to provide essential services while minimizing the burden on residents, he explained.

Tax notices will be mailed to residents before the end of May and while the deadline for tax payment and submission of annual homeowner grant applications will still be July 2, those unable to pay on time face adjusted late payment penalties, Haynes explained.

The standard 10 per cent late penalty will be split up over several months for 2020. For most residential and farm properties, a three per cent penalty will be applied to taxes not received by July 31 and an additional seven per cent fee will be applied to taxes not paid by Sept. 30. A fee of seven per cent will be applied to most business and industrial property taxes not paid by Sept. 30 and an extra three per cent will be added if taxes aren’t paid by Nov. 30.

This adjusted penalty plan is “gentle on people’s purses,” Haynes said, pointing out that council also agreed to temporarily do away with the penalty on late utility bill payments.

With municipal hall closed due to the pandemic, residents will not be able to pay their 2020 taxes in person. Instead, the District recommends residents pay through online banking, through their mortgage company, at their bank or through the various drop boxes outside municipal hall.

Payments can also be sent by mail in the form of a cheque along with the bottom portion of the tax notice. The payment can be mailed to Saanich Municipal Hall – 770 Vernon Ave., Victoria, BC V8X 2W7 – but must be received by July 31 to avoid a late penalty.

Haynes emphasized that residents able to pay their property taxes on time should do so.

Anyone with questions about payment methods or late penalties is asked to contact Saanich’s Property Tax Section at 250-475-5454 or propertytax@saanich.ca.


@devonscarlett
Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

devon.bidal@saanichnews.com

CoronavirusDistrict of Saanich

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Sooke, Sidney businesses win top awards during the BC Food and Beverage Awards

Sheringham Distillery won Gold Award for Product of Year while Cascadia Seaweed won Innovation Award

First Nations market fills Colwood’s Royal Beach

Event Wednesday in honour of Orange Shirt Day

West Shore RCMP arrives just in time thanks to tip

Officers remind of resources after mental health call Monday morning

Victoria Humane Society takes revenue hit after donation bins vandalized

Organization removes clothing donation bins after contents removed, scattered

Lamborghini driver slapped with nearly $1,000 in fines while speeding in Central Saanich

Vehicle impounded by Central Saanich police, 11 points issued

Weekend sees 267 cases, 3 deaths in B.C.; Dr. Henry says events leading to COVID spread

There are currently 1,302 active cases in B.C., while 3,372 people are under public health monitoring

Lightning strike: Tampa Bay blanks Dallas 2-0 to win Stanley Cup

Hedman wins Conn Smythe Trophy as playoff MVP

16 MLAs retiring from B.C. politics add up to $20M in pensions: Taxpayers Federation

Taxpayers pay $4 for every dollar MLAs contribute to their pensions

SOOKE HISTORY: Alleged bootlegger has day in court

Blackberry wine confiscated at home

Shawnigan Lake’s Kubica gets 25 to life for murder in California

Former Shawnigan Lake man convicted of killing woman in 1990

Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good

Pay it Forward program supports local businesses in their community giving

B.C. VOTES 2020: Echoes of HST in B.C. debate over sales tax

Cannabis, tobacco, luxury cars still taxed in B.C. Liberal plan

She warned her son about toxic drugs, then he was dead

Donna Bridgman’s son died at the age of 38 in Vancouver

Duration of Tour de Rock stop in Chemainus much shorter than usual

Four alumni riders don’t get to come for breakfast in COVID year

Most Read