Finance

The finance department is responsible for the budgeting, financial administration and reporting functions for the Town of Lake Cowichan in accordance with the directives as passed by Town Council.

Property Tax

The property tax notices are mailed out by the end of May each year. If you do not receive your property tax notice by mid-June, please contact the Town office. It is the home owner's responsibility to ensure that we have the correct mailing address. Avoid late charges by making payments on time.

Payment Options

In person with cash, cheque or debit. Post-dated cheques made payable for the due date are accepted. Credit cards are not accepted.

Online or through telephone banking. Pay early to allow for bank processing times which can vary by three to eight business days. Check with your bank for processing time for payments to third parties.

Tip: Problems with online account setup? Try adding one or two zeros in front of the roll number.

Mail your cheque and/or homeowner grant application to the Town office. Ensure your payment is received before 4:30 p.m. on the due date. The post mark date is not accepted as proof of payment made on time.

Home Owner Grant

Remember to claim your homeowner grant, if eligible, at the Town office by the due date. The grant application is the lower portion of the property tax notice. Home owner grants not claimed by the due date will incur a 10% penalty.

To be eligible for the grant you must reside in the home and it must be your principal residence. For more information on the home owner grant program, visit the Ministry of Finance website.

If you missed claiming your grant for last year, you can apply for it retroactively, by filling out a Retroactive Home Owner Grant Application form and bringing it to the Town office with the required documents as listed on the bottom of the form. Contact our office if you require assistance.

Property Tax Assessments

Annually, the value of your property is assessed by BC Assessment Authority. Questions relating to your property assessment should be directed to the BC Assessment Office noted on the front of your assessment. Recorded information is available at 1-877-356-9313 or visit their website.

Property Tax Deferment

Property owners who meet the eligibility criteria may be able to apply for a low interest loan to pay the current year property taxes on your principal residence. There are two programs you may qualify for:

- The regular Program or

- Families with Children program

In order to qualify, you must not have a balance in arrears and must have claimed the current year grant before the tax payment deadline. For more information, please visit the Province of BC website

After the tax deferment application has been processed, the Property Tax Deferment Branch will mail out renewal notices each year. The property owner must complete and sign the renewal notice and bring into the Town office with the completed homeowner grant application for the Town office to forward to the Tax Deferment Branch.

Tax Certificates

Our Tax Certificates are conveniently available online through:

- myLTSA Enterprise:  If you have an account, log in and from the main menu, select Service Providers and Order Tax Certificates. For more information about myLTSA or to become a customer, visit www.ltsa.ca.

- APIC: If you prefer to pay for the tax certificate by credit card, please visit www.apicanada.com to open an account and order your Tax Certificate.

Utility Fees

The utility bills are mailed out late January every year. If payment is received by the last day in February, the property owner is entitled to a 10% discount. Contact the Town office if you do not receive your utility billing by mid-February.

Please use the utility account number on the top left hand corner of the utility billing to make online payments. This account is different from the property tax roll number, do not make utility payment to your property tax account.

If you have problems or any questions setting up your online account, please call our office for assistance. TIP: Problems with online account setup? Try adding one or two zeros in front of the account number.

Ensure your payments are made on time to avoid penalties. A 5% penalty will be levied after the July due date on any unpaid utility balances. Any utility amounts not paid by September 30th will be assessed a further 5% penalty.

Quarterly Utility Charges

After the annual utility billing (mailed in late January every year) you may receive a quarterly billing if your consumption exceeds the threshold pre-billed in January. The histogram at the bottom of the utility bill shows the water consumption data for the past year.

If you have questions or are wondering about your water consumption, call the Town office for up-to-date meter readings. The meters are read monthly and by the 10th of each month the water meter reads are updated in our system.

Reports and Publications

Tax Newsletter 2017

Tax Rates for 2017

Statement of Financial Information 2016

Annual Report 2016

Late Fees and Penalties

All taxes are due by 4.30 p.m., July 4, 2017. Any current tax amounts not paid or received by this deadline will, without exception, be subject to 10% penalty charges.

To avoid penalty or interest charges by ensuring payments are received at the municipal office no later than the date and time indicated here.