What are property taxes?
An annual local government tax levied on real property based on BC Assessment’s estimated market value. Local governments calculate the tax by dividing the annual budget by total assessed property values. In rural areas, the province assigns the tax rate. Rates vary among property classes: residential, business, light and heavy industry, farm, recreation, utility and managed forest land.
The assessed value of each property is typically determined annually by BC Assessment, as of the previous July 1.
Where do I find out what my property taxes are?
Look at your tax notice which was delivered by mail in late May or early June. You can also check your local government web site, which may have information.
What happens if I don’t get a tax notice?
You must pay whether or not you have received a notice. Contact your local government finance department and arrange for a duplicate notice. You must ensure that your local government and BC Assessment have your correct mailing address.
What taxes do property owners pay?
Take a close look at your property tax notice. About 50% of the amount owing is levied by the local municipality. Municipalities are also required to collect the remainder for other taxing authorities and have no control over these levies.
Municipal tax – is set by council and staff in the local government’s annual budget process and is based on revenue needs for infrastructure and services.
Regional district tax – is set by the regional districts for key services such as regional water and sewage treatment. For example, Metro Vancouver tells their local governments what their revenue needs are, and the local governments collect on their behalf. In rural areas, the province (Surveyor of Taxes) collects for regional districts.
School tax – is set by the BC government to fund schools and varies by local government. It’s paid by residential and non-residential property owners.
Hospital tax – is set by the regional hospital districts to help partially fund local health facilities. For example, in Metro Vancouver hospitals are funded by the province, not by property taxes. Outside Metro Vancouver, hospital taxes are still levied.
Other taxes – are set by local taxing authorities and collected by the local government to fund BC Assessment, the Municipal Finance Authority and TransLink.
For questions about taxes levied by other taxing authorities, contact:
• BC Assessment Authority 1.866.825.8322
• Metro Vancouver 604.432.6200
• Municipal Finance Authority 250.383.1181
• School Taxes (Ministry of Finance) 250.590.0239