Apr 23, 2020

Ladysmith Council extends penalty date for property tax payments

Ladysmith Council has extended the penalty date for the payment of property taxes until September 30th, and approved a budget increase that balances a loss of revenue resulting from the COVID-19 pandemic, and trims expenditures, while maintaining Town services.

A 1.92% increase to the municipal share of property taxes was approved at Tuesday's Special Meeting of Council. The budget was adjusted due to the lack of revenues that are not expected to be received as a result of COVID-19 health orders and recommendations.

Additionally, the due date for property taxes will remain unchanged as July 2 but in recognition of the hardships caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, property owners now have until September 30, 2020 to pay their taxes before any penalty is applied.

"Ladysmith Council recognizes that everyone’s focus right now should be on the health of their family, not having to worry about finances," said Ladysmith Mayor Aaron Stone.

"The Town is facing a significant challenge of balancing lost revenue and keeping taxes in check all while continuing to provide services, maintain our roads and parks and complete the key work required to allow for a rapid economic recovery. We’re providing what relief we can while maintaining these and other requirements and responsibilities."

Ladysmith Council only sets the municipal portion of the tax bill, so property owners could see increases depending on the budgets set by other agencies.

Last year, 41 per cent of Ladysmith's property tax bill paid for services like schools, the Vancouver Regional Library, the Cowichan Valley Regional District and the Cowichan Regional Hospital fund.

Residents are still encouraged to try and pay their property taxes by the previous July 2 due date, if they can, to help with the Town’s cash flow as we continue delivering services to the community.

The deadline for Council to approve the bylaws establishing the tax rates is May 15, 2020.