Online homeowner grant service coming

Will make process easier for taxpayers

Online homeowner grant method coming

The District of Houston is moving into the digital age when it comes to claiming homeowner grants.

Council has approved an expenditure of $11,370 from surplus for the project.

It’ll allow homeowners to claim the grant online through the District’s website.

District of Houston chief administrative officer Gerald Pinchbeck said the project should be ready for a launch in time for this year’s property tax payment period.

“The District will be including a ‘how to guide’ for using this new system with its property tax notices,” he said.

“As well, homeowners and businesses can pay their property taxes and utility bills online through their financial institution in the same manner as manual electronic payments to BC Hydro can be set up,” Pinchbeck added.

Similar services at other local governments require homeowners to enter their property roll number and an access code to begin the claiming process.

Once completed, homeowners then have the ability to print off a copy for their records.

Currently homeowners can submit forms in person, via email, fax or regular mail.

The basic grant, provided by the provincial government reduces property tax owing, is now $770, $200 of which reflects the northern and rural location of Houston, for persons under the age of 65.

There’s an additional grant amount of up to $275 to a maximum total of $1,056 for people over the age of 65 and for persons with a disability or who are the spouse or relative of a person with permanent disability.

District applies for Family Day grant

Free public swimming on Feb. 17, Family Day, is being planned by the District’s Leisure Services Department based on receiving a grant.

The grant, worth up to $1,000, is available from the B.C. Recreation and Parks Association in conjunction with the provincial government.

This is the third year the program has been offered and the District was successful last year in obtaining the full $1,000.

An event must be free, open to everyone and be family oriented.

“Funding would help cover the facility fees of $565 over the five hours of operation, plus approximately $965 in staff wages,” leisure services director Tasha Kelly noted in a briefing memo to council.

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