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.
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 can be mailed or dropped through the mail slot at the Town Office. In person with cheque or debit. Post-dated cheques made payable for the due date are accepted. Credit cards are not accepted and cash payments are discouraged. For cash payments the full amount will be credited to your account.
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 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
The Province administrates the Home Owner Grant and Retro Grant programs. The property owner must claim their homeowner grant, if eligible, on the Provincial website by the due date. Program eligibility is unchanged. Home owner grants not claimed by the due date will incur a 10% penalty. Learn more at gov.bc.ca/homeownergrant or phone 1-888-355-2700 to speak with a live agent.
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, on the Provincial website - Retroactive Home Owner Grant Application.
To claim your Home Owner Grant and/or Retro Grant online you will need the JURISDICTION NO, 539, and your roll number which is located on the top left of your property tax notice. The number format on your tax notice is as required by the Province to claim your grant online. The Province will also require to your Social Insurance Number and your birthdate to claim the additional grant if you are turning 65 this year or if are already 65.
The online services code on the top left of your property tax notice can be used to view your property tax notices. Do not use this code to make online payments, it is not your account number. Use your roll number as shown above the bar code on your property tax notice. If your financial institution requires more digits please add one or two zeros to the front of your roll number.
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 on the BC Assessment website.
Property Tax Deferment
The BC Government is making it easier to apply for the propery tax deferment program.
BC Residential property owners can apply for the property tax deferment on their principal residence online, quickly and easily. Owners can choose to auto renew their application.
Municipalities will no longer be responsible for accepting deferment applications.
Property owners will still make outstanding utility payments to the Town.
For more information, please visit: https://www2.gov.bc.ca/gov/content/taxes/property-taxes/annual-property-tax/defer-taxes
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.
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.
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.