Cranbrook residents will be receiving property tax notices in the mail in the coming days, with taxes due on July 2, 2020 for all properties.
If you have not received your notice by the first week of June, be sure to contact Cranbrook City Hall at (250) 489-0233. City Hall will be open to the public on June 1, however the City asks that residents try to pay their property taxes through online banking, and claim home owner grants through the City’s website at www.cranbrook.ca.
A 10 per cent penalty will be added to any unpaid current taxes that are not paid by July 2 for all residential, utility and farm properties. Home owner grants may be claimed even if current taxes are not paid in full, explained the City in a press release. Penalties apply to home owner grants not claimed by the 2nd as well.
“As per the Province of BC’s COVID-19 Action Plan, taxes are still due on July 2, 2020 for all Light Industry (class five), Business (class six) and Seasonal (class eight) properties, after which time a 10 per cent penalty will be added to any unpaid current taxes starting on September 30, 2020,” said the City.
Your current assessment can be found on the top right-hand corner of your tax notice.
Repayment of 2021 Property Taxes
The City of Cranbrook notes that if you are currently participating in the pre-authorized payment program, the prepayment amount on your tax notice includes the June 15th payment.
“As your prepayment amounts were based on an estimate, there may still be a balance owing,” explains the City. “To avoid a penalty, please review your tax notice carefully and make sure you pay any outstanding balance prior to July 2, 2020. Any overpayment on 2020 property taxes will be applied to the first payment(s) for 2021.”
Those who are not currently enrolled in the pre-authorized payment plan can to so by contacting the City’s Finance Department at (250) 489-0233 to obtain an application form. Monthly tax payments are made with banking institutions through pre-authorized debits on the 15th of each month, starting in July 2020 for the 2021 taxation year.
2020 Tax Deferment Programs
There are two separate tax deferment plans that residents can qualify for.
The first is a regular deferment plan for those 55 years of age or older, widow or widowers, persons with a disability as defined by regulation and those with 25 per cent equity positions.
The second is the family with children deferment program, for those who are financially supporting a child under the age of 18 at any time during the calendar year and those with 15 per cent equity positions.
“Before applying for any of these tax deferment programs, you must pay all penalties, interest, previous years’ property taxes and utility charges, as these charges cannot be deferred,” says the City.
For more information on the provincial deferment programs, visit https://www.gov.bc.ca/propertytaxdeferment or call 1-888-355-2700.
2020 Home Owner Grant
Those claiming a 2020 home owner grant can do so online through the City’s website at www.cranbrook.ca. Follow the link found under the ‘Residents’ tab. the eHOG password to access the form is found on the top left-hand of your tax notice underneath the address portion.
The City says it’s important to note that financial institutions do not accept home owner grant applications.
Payment Options and City Hall COVID-19 Protocols
Cranbrook City Hall will only be allowing two patrons into the building at one time due to new protocols set in place surrounding the COVID-19 pandemic. Property owners are asked to line up outside in the designated area. A staff member will be available outside to assist.
The City also asks that anyone exhibiting symptoms such as fever, cough, runny nose, sore throat or shortness of breath refrain from visiting City Hall.
Non-cash payments are preferred if it’s necessary for home owners to pay in-person. City Hall accepts post-dated cheques, debit card and credit card payments. A 2.4 per cent convenience fee applies to all credit card payments and cheques can be made payable to: City of Cranbrook.
Payments can also be made by telephone/online banking and through most financial institutions. Home owner grants must be claimed at City Hall or online at www.cranbrook.ca.
Cranbrook’s website also offers an online payment portal where home owners can register to receive notifications when bills are ready for viewing.
COVID-19 Impact on Property Values
According to an article on the BC Assessment website, 2020 property assessments were determined based on market values as of July 1, 2019; thus, COVID-19 will not have an impact on this year’s assessments.
“Annually, BC Assessment collects and analyzes real estate sales to determine market value of properties as of July 1 for the upcoming assessment roll,” says the article. “Therefore, 2021 assessments will reflect market conditions as of July 1, 2020. The affect that COVID-19 has had or will have on the real estate market is still unknown at this time.”
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