Property taxes in BC are a yearly tax charged by each city, town, municipality and regional district. Home ownership is filled with various costs, from maintenance to mortgage payments; but one of the most significant expenses most people overlook is their property taxes. In this article we will cover the general process and timeline of annual property taxes you have to pay to maintain ownership of your home.
The purpose of property taxes is to help fund both municipal and provincial public services. These include, but is not limited to;
They are calculated based on the assessed value of a property (provided by BC Assessment). Tax rates are then set every year by each City Council in terms of general municipal taxes, local improvement taxes, parcel taxes and Business Improvement Area levies. Let’s review the timeline.
Your property assessment will significantly influence the amount of property taxes you pay. You will receive your property assessment notice from BC Assessment each year in January. Your property is assessed to determine:
The value is an estimate of your property’s value as of July 1 of the previous year and your property is compared against actual sales in the same area.
Your tax notice includes your general City of Surrey property taxes in addition to levies for local roads, drainage, solid waste and capital, as well as taxes collected for other authorities. You will receive your tax notice some time in May. Property owners who haven’t received a tax notice by mid-June should contact their municipal finance department:
New property owners who don’t receive a tax notice, or received a tax notice with the previous owners’ name(s) on it, should contact the BC Land Title and Survey Authority at 604-630-9630 for a Certificate of Title to prove ownership.
Canadian citizens and landed immigrants who are permanent residents and whose home is their principal residence may be eligible to claim the Home Owner Grant. The regular grant amount is $570 for properties located in the Capital Regional District, the Metro Vancouver Regional District and the Fraser Valley Regional District. For all other areas of the province the amount is $770.
There are several types of grants including the:
You can apply for your grant here.
Property taxes must be paid and the Home Owner Grant claimed by the due date to avoid late penalties. This is usually the second business day in July, however this may fluctuate depending on what day of the week Canada Day falls on.
The easiest and fastest way to pay your property taxes is online through your bank’s website. Contact your financial institution directly if you require assistance or have questions about payment services. You could also mail your payment to City Hall, or pay in person at City Hall but credit card payments are currently not accepted.
A convenient option (so you don’t forget) is to set up a pre-authorized payment plan with your municipality. Monthly payments work by estimating next year’s property taxes and annual utilities amount, and dividing that total by the agreed amount (ranges between 10 and 12 payments).
If you miss the deadline and have an overdue payment a 5% penalty is applied to your account balance, including any unclaimed home owner grant. This means you will continue to receive monthly statements for as long as you have an unpaid account.
There is nothing more comfortable than your own home. It is a place where you can rest and relax, as well as entertain your friends and family members. However, it comes with a price. As a best practice, property tax should be factored in as part of your routine costs after purchase.
If you’d like to learn more about the costs that are required upfront when you buy a property then check out my Buyer Guide.
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RE/MAX All Points Realty
102-321 Sixth St,
New Westminster, BC, V3L 3A7