District of Squamish Utilities (water, sewer, and solid waste) are billed annually. Utilities and property taxes are combined into one invoice for residential property owners (single homes or strata units). Secondary suites will receive a separate Utilities invoice.
NEW: In 2017, both utilities and property taxes are subject to a late payment penalty if not paid on or before July 4, 2017. Read the news release.
A 5% late payment penalty will be applied to outstanding balances on property taxes and utilities on July 5, 2017. A second 5% penalty will be applied to any outstanding balances on August 1, 2017.
The billing changes will improve cash flow by moving the majority of payments to mid-year. 52% of residents paid their utilities by July 4, 2016. By not collecting 48% of utilities until the end of the year, the District must fund operations throughout the year through short-term borrowing or by forgoing interest on cash balances the municipality holds. This is not sound fiscal management and ultimately costs all residents through higher utility fees. Administrative efficiency is also achieved through introducing consistency in how unpaid balances are treated.
“As our billings process has transitioned, there has been a two-year period with no discount program nor late payment penalty for utility payments, creating the perception that the due date was December, and resulting in a significant impact to our cash flow. We appreciate that it’s challenging for residents to be able to pay off a large bill at one time; managing cash flow is something we all grapple with. By introducing the 5% + 5% late payment penalties, we are trying to be sensitive to those who simply missed the deadline, and those who could use a little more time.” -- District of Squamish Mayor, Patricia Heintzman
Paying your property tax and utilities by the July 4, 2017 deadline will ensure that you do not incur a penalty on any outstanding balance.
Confused by two bills on one invoice? Here are five steps to paying both bills on time:
Utility Rates Bylaws
For those on a limited fixed income or who find themselves unable to pay, deferment loans for property taxes may be available through the Province of British Columbia. Two different programs are available, including one for those 55 or older, a surviving spouse of any age, or a person with disabilities, and a second program for families with children. For details on the program and how to apply visit the BC Government website, or contact Municipal Hall.
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