Frequently Asked Questions

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Paying for Utilities

  • When are my property taxes and utilities due?

    Property taxes and utilities are due the first business day following Canada Day.

  • Why was a penalty introduced for utilities?

    In 2016, 48% of the District's Utility revenue was outstanding as of July 4, compared to 27% in 2014. This represents a 21% shift in payments to later in the year, significantly impacting cash flow. 

    By not collecting fees until the end of the year the District has to fund operations by short-term borrowing or by forgoing interest on cash balances the municipality holds. This costs all rate payers money including those that paid on time. This ultimately costs everyone through higher utility fees. The 2017 introduction of a late payment penalty for utilities not paid by the July deadline ensures that any costs associated with interim financing are now offset by revenue from penalties collected from only those rate payers that did not pay on time. 

  • How is this different from previous years?

    Property taxes have always been due at the beginning of July (the first business day following Canada Day). A 5% penalty was applied on the day following the deadline, followed by an additional 5% penalty one month later. This remains unchanged.

    Utilities were “due upon receipt” of the invoice. However, interest was not charged until January 1, so close to 50% of residents paid their utilities in late December. The penalty for late payment was interest charged, when the outstanding utilities amount 'rolled over' to property taxes.

    Prior to 2015, an incentive discount for early payment of utilities was offered which enabled the District to collect over 70% of payments by July. The early discount, (essentially a penalty for those paying later), was effective but added a duplicate process and so was administratively inefficient.

  • What does the utility bill include?

    Utility charges at the District of Squamish include sewer, water and solid waste collection (garbage, organics and recycling curbside pickup). If you are in a strata complex that provides solid waste collection, this fee is part of your strata fee, and is not included on your utilities.

  • Can I still pre-pay my utilities monthly?

    Yes. You can pre-pay your utilities and your property taxes monthly via post-dated cheques, telephone or Internet banking, or in person at Municipal Hall, but the balance must be paid in full by the deadline to avoid incurring the late payment penalty.

    The deadline for full payment will be the first business day following Canada Day.

  • Can my mortgage company/bank pay my property taxes and utilities?

    Your mortgage company/bank can pay your property taxes. Your mortgage company/bank WILL NOT receive the Utility fee portion of the invoice, and DOES NOT pay your utilities. In order to avoid incurring a penalty, discuss with your bank to ensure that you pay the utilities portion yourself.

  • Will the utilities and property tax amounts be separated on the same bill?

    Yes, you will continue to receive one bill with two separate amounts, clearly identified. 


  • What administration efficiencies will be achieved adding a penalty to Utilities payments?

    In 2015, the annual utilities were combined with the Property Tax Notice, which achieved significant efficiency in administration. Applying a penalty to move payments to the combined early July due date helps streamline the process further by eliminating duplication of two collection processes. The two processes were also confusing to residents, which contributed to duplication and inefficiencies through the processing of payments.