Opinion

Editorial — Property taxes due by July 4

It’s a good reminder to taxpayers.

Property taxes in both Langley City and Langley Township are due on Monday, July 4. At Monday’s Langley City council meeting, taxpayers were reminded not to mail those payments in.

It is vitally important that these tax payments are actually received by both local governments on the due date.

Some people still mail their property tax payments to the respective municipalities. While most likely know that isn’t a good idea this year, given that Canada Post has locked out its employees and no mail is being delivered, there may be a few who automatically put their payment in the mail without fully thinking it through.

What may be even more likely is that some people will put their tax payments in the mail if Canada Post gets back to normal business later this week, or early next week. The federal government has brought in back-to-work legislation to end the lockout, and the bill may be passed into law by the end of this week.

Even if Canada Post gets back to work, there will be a significant backlog of mail for employees to work through. A great deal of mail, including some of the ballots for the HST referendium, is already sitting unsorted in post offices across the country.

Any new mail that is added to that backlog may get lost in the shuffle, at least temporarily. If property tax payments are received anytime after July 4, a 10 per cent penalty applies. That penalty is five per cent in the City, but rises to 10 per cent in early August.

There are many payment options available that do not involve using the mail service. Payments can be made at virtually every bank and credit union branch in Langley, and in some cases, can be made online.

Payments can also be made at the City and Township halls during business hours.

However, it is important that those who are claiming homeowner grants fill out and sign that portion of their property tax notices, which can be left with financial institutions if payments are made there. The Township has set up an online system for filling out the grant application.

For those not planning to pay their taxes on the due date, it is still important to claim the homeowner grant, so that no penalty is charged on that portion of the taxes.

It is very important to abide by these deadlines.

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