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Kelowna  

More than 5,000 behind in taxes

More than 5,000 Kelowna taxpayers missed the July deadline to satisfy their tax bill.

City Revenue Manager, Lynn Walter that's on par with previous years.

She says about 95 per cent of taxpayers did meet the July deadline which is normal.

According to Walter 5,679 landowners missed the July deadline, however, 462 of those have applied for tax deferment on time meaning once the city receives payment from the province the 5 per cent penalty will be wiped from the books.

The remaining 5,217 people already face the 5 per cent penalty.

An additional 5 per cent penalty will be added to the tax bill if it is not paid by midnight, Aug 5.

"The province requires us to put a 10 per cent penalty on (late payments) but it allows us to come up with an alternate scheme for that 10 per cent," says Walter.

"The city many years ago said maybe if we make it five per cent and five per cent we won't hit people quite so hard and they'll get a chance to pay and not have to pay the extra five per cent."

Technically, Walter says a taxpayer is not officially in arrears until the end of the current calendar year and are not delinquent until the end of the following year.

Walter says once a property becomes delinquent, it is subject to a tax sale the following September.

"We probably start out when we start working on the tax sale with a fair number of properties, then as we get closer...the number gets small," says Walter.

"The city doesn't want the property the city just wants the taxes paid."

Those who have not yet paid their 2014 municipal taxes can avoid the second 5 per cent penalty by making payments in the following ways:

  • At your bank/credit union in person, online or by telephone
  • Via drop boxes at City Hall’s Water Street entrance and the Doyle Avenue parking lot exit
  • At City Hall’s Revenue Branch front counter at 1435 Water Street (closed for B.C. Day, Monday, Aug. 4)
  • By mail – send a post-dated cheque attention Revenue, City Hall, 1435 Water Street, Kelowna BC V1Y 1J4 (post-marked dates are not accepted as proof of payment).

Property taxes can be paid by cash, cheque, money order or debit card. If payment is made through a bank or credit union, taxpayers must bring a copy of their tax notice with them.

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