Tax late fees excessive

I have lived in Oak Bay on and off for 20 years and I can say I have never paid my property taxes late … until this year.

I have stewed over writing this for two weeks, ever since I paid my Oak Bay property taxes late by one day.

I have lived in Oak Bay on and off for 20 years and I can say I have never paid my property taxes late … until this year.

I was visiting family in England and I guess when I returned I lost a bit of momentum and completely forgot to apply for the homeowners grant or pay the taxes. When I realized my mistake I flew in to the municipal hall and paid. I was a day late. Monday, July 2 was a holiday this year, so the taxes were due on July 3. I paid on the 4, and for that I was charged an extra $400. I still can’t believe it – one day late.

I can understand that Oak Bay needs the property taxes paid in a timely manner, but do you not think that a couple of days grace would be appropriate?

This would enable the people who genuinely forgot to pay, to pay – as opposed to those people who knew that they couldn’t pay on time for one reason or another.

If a couple of days grace is not possible, what about a fee of one to five per cent for the first week after the due date? Then if the municipality must, increase it to the full excessive fee of 10 per cent starting the second week of non-payment.

I really do feel very strongly about this and would be interested in the comments from other residents.

As a final comment, some of these property taxes could be used to improve our community landscaping. We are definitely lacking in this area. If anyone has driven or visited the western communities lately they will have seen what a superb effort that municipality puts into its landscaping.

We live in a lovely area of Victoria, where tourists visit our community. Please put some money and effort into our flowerbeds.

Sue Leather

Oak Bay