Why the tax system seems unreliable in Squamish

The deadline for municipal and property taxes (July 4, 2022) has passed.

For those who miss the deadline, even those who receive the homeowner subsidy, there is a 5% penalty, and those who miss after July 31, 2022 will have to pay an additional 5%.

Even though they were on vacation.

Even if they did not receive the notice in the mail.

No exceptions.

I have already discovered it.

Our municipality is ruthless.

It’s hard but understandable.

However, how many of us realize that we have to claim the homeowner’s subsidy every year?

As a grant recipient, the amount is automatically covered by my mortgage company.

Thus, I felt assured that my property tax would be paid. Surely, if the amount is deducted from my mortgage and paid by my company, it is the assurance that my situation has not changed.

However, how many of us know that if someone does not apply for the grant every year, they may be denied to receive it?

Those who are unaware of this stipulation are obliged to pay the full amount of property tax.

Isn’t the grant intended to help seniors and low-income people who are struggling to pay taxes?

I had initially felt assured that the mortgage company had paid the tax, but I checked anyway.

Oh dear.

I had not applied this year separately and was charged the full amount. Grant refused!

In our busy lives, who has the consideration or the time to remember to make a claim every year, especially when the amount is covered by the mortgage company?

If this has happened to you, please let the IRS know if they want to hold people accountable; they should be more responsible.

As my English aunt Gwen used to say, “It is NOT!”

Melody Wales,

Squamish

Editor’s note:

The Homeowners Grant Program is a provincial program offered to reduce the amount of property tax paid by the homeowner and is administered by the provincial government. Information on how to apply for a homeowner’s grant can be found at the top of the back of the Property Tax and Utilities Notice.

The homeowner grant can be claimed until December 31 of the current tax year. Additionally, homeowners who qualified for the grant for the previous tax year and did not apply may also be able to apply for the grant retroactively for up to one year.

Property tax information, including information on penalties, methods of payment, and the grant application procedure, is included in the property tax notice.

Detailed information on the Homeowners Grant Program, how to apply, and how to apply retroactively can be found at

www2.gov.bc.ca/gov/content/taxes/property-taxes/annual-property-tax/home-owner-grant.

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