By this time, you should have received your property tax notice in the mail. Payment is due by Tuesday July 4th to your municipality (if you live in Courtenay, Comox, or Cumberland) or to the BC Government if you’re in the regional district. There’s typically a 5% penalty for late payment, so don’t miss the deadline!
For property taxes, you may or may not need to pay them yourself depending on how your mortgage is set up. With most lenders, you can choose to either be responsible for paying your own taxes or have the lender collect property tax installments and then pay the total due to the city on your behalf. If you’re not sure how your mortgage is set up, you can look at your most recent annual mortgage statement (likely received back in February) to see if there’s a Property Tax balance listed and/or a Property Tax amount shown as being collected as part of your scheduled payments. These are both indications that your lender is set up to pay your property taxes on your behalf.
If you live in one of the municipalities, you can also look at your Property Tax Bill to see if it shows your mortgage lender is registered to pay your taxes.
Courtenay and Cumberland property tax notices both look the same and show the MORTGAGE COMPANY in the top right.
Comox property tax notices look a bit different, and show in the top left area whether your mortgage lender has been notified.
If in doubt, check directly with your lender
While looking at your property tax notice or your annual mortgage statement are good shortcuts to refresh your memory or confirm your suspicions, these methods can potentially be inaccurate. If you have recently made changes to your mortgage (switched to a new lender, or refinanced with your current lender), it’s possible that your property tax notice could show old lender information or that your annual mortgage statement from February is no longer accurate. The only way to be sure that your lender will pay your property taxes is to call their customer service directly and confirm.
Remember to Apply for your Homeowner Grant
Whether you or your lender will be paying your property taxes, you always have to claim your own Home Owner Grant (HOG) each year. This is free money from the provincial government, so don’t forget!
Applying for the home owner grant is straightforward and instructions are included in your property tax notice. When you receive your property tax bill, you just go to http://gov.bc.ca/homeownergrant or call 1-888-355-2700
To be eligible for the full HOG, your home’s assessed value for 2023 must be below $2,125,000 and the home must be your principal residence. In the Comox Valley (as well as the rest of rural BC) we receive a HOG of $770. In the Victoria Capital Regional District, Metro Vancouver and the Fraser Valley Regional District the grant is $570.
Note that there are additional grants if you are over 65, a veteran, or have a disability. For more info on the extra grants available, see the website.
Please contact us any time if we can help with any of your property tax or mortgage questions.