Access a wealth of information in regards to your property taxes here from understanding how property taxes are calculated to how you can defer your taxes, how to avoid long line ups during tax and utility payment times to tax sale regulations.
Property Tax Bill Due Dates
- Property Tax Bill due dates
- Tax bills must be paid by July 4th, 2016. A 10% penalty will be added to current charges if unpaid by the due date shown.
- Payments are applied to delinquent owning, arrears owing and then to current taxes owing.
- After three years of accumulated unpaid taxes your property will go into tax sale status.
- Please allow sufficient time for mailed remittances to reach the District office by the due date. Postmarks are not accepted as proof of payment date.
Understanding Property Taxes
Each year, the Municipality, BC Assessment, Municipal Finance Authority, Regional District, School District& Regional Hospital require revenue for the services they provide to the residents of Clearwater. Each public agency with taxing authority sets a budget for the amount of tax revenue it requires. Tax rates vary among property classifications and are calculated by dividing the budget needs of the agency by its assessment base. The appropriate tax rate is then applied to individual property assessments, and the tax levy is calculated.
Your Property taxes are based on this formula:
Assessed Property Value
- The value of property for tax purposes is determined by BC Assessment Authority which is established under provincial legislation and is independent of the municipality.
- Your assessment notice is mailed out annually on December 31st.
- You can not appeal your taxes, but you can appeal your assessment. Review BC Assessment’s Appeal Process for deadlines and details.
- For more information on your assessment, contact the BC Assessment Office at 1-866-825-8322 or use BC Assessment’s online contact form.
Property Tax Rate
The property tax rate is the sum of each taxing authority’s levy. View Bylaw No. 141, 2015 here.
School Rate Rate
- School tax rates applicable to residential properties are set by the provincial government.
- Residential school taxes are based in part on the number of residences, as well as the total assessed value of residential property in the province, creating a different tax rate in each school district.
- School tax rates applicable to non-residential properties are also set by the provincial government. The rates vary by property classification, but are uniform throughout the province within each non-residential property class.
- Frequently Asked School Tax Questions
- BC Ministry of Finance Phone: 1-800-663-7867 or 250.356.0907
Municipal Tax Rate
- Municipal property tax rate is set by the District of Clearwater.
- The revenue from these taxes is used for public services such as fire protection, street lighting, road and drainage maintenance, administration, as well as operating parks and recreational facilities.
- The municipal tax rate is set in correspondence to the tax year’s municipal budget.
- To learn more about the 2016 Budget and where your property tax money is going, view the 5-Year Financial Plan here.
Regional District Tax Rate
- Regional District tax rate is set by the Thompson-Nicola Regional District to raise revenue for budget needs.
- Tax revenues are used to fund a wide range of regional services of benefit to everyone within the boundaries of the region, such as mosquito control, waste management, 911 services and the library.
- Thompson-Nicola Regional District Phone: 250-377-8673 or 1-877-377-8673.
BC Assessment Authority Rate
- BC Assessment property tax rate is set by BC Assessment Authority who is an independent, provincial Crown corporation, governed by a Board of Directors.
- The revenue from these taxes is used to produce independent, uniform and efficient property assessments on an annual basis to:
- tax authorities
- property owners
- municipal, provincial and federal government agencies
- realtors, appraisers, lawyers, bankers, title search companies
- other private and public agencies
- BC Assessment Office Phone: 250 763-8300
- BC Assessment Office Phone: 250 763-8300
Hospital Tax Rate
- The Hospital tax rate is set by the Thompson Regional Hospital District (TRHD).
- The Hospital tax rate raises revenue to repay the costs of major capital expenditures such as hospital construction and acquisition of medical equipment.
- For additional information please phone: 250-377-8673
Local Services Taxes-Bylaw
Your tax notice may also include local services taxes such as:
- Annual charge upon the owners of the land or real property within the District of Clearwater capable of being served by the District’s sewer system.
- The parcel tax is levied each year on each parcel of land aforementioned, and the amount of such Parcel Tax is forty Dollars ($40.00).
- Effective 2014, Bylaw No. 117, Sewer Parcel Tax Levy.
- Annual charge upon the owners of the land or real property within the District of Clearwater capable of being served by the District’s water system.
- The parcel tax is levied each year on each parcel of land aforementioned, and the amount of such Parcel Tax is one hundred Dollars ($100.00).
- Effective 2014, Bylaw No. 116, Water Service Parcel Tax Levy
Property Taxes paid by a Mortgagor
Many property owners choose to have their property taxes paid by their mortgage company or financial institution (the Mortgagor). When property owners make their mortgage payments, the Mortgagor allocates a portion of each total mortgage payment to a property tax account held by the Mortgagor. This type of a mortgage is referred to as a ‘Principal, Interest, and Taxes’ mortgage (P.I.T. mortgage). P.I.T. mortgages allocate a portion of each payment towards Principal, Interest, and Property Taxes (P.I.T.). The portion of the mortgage payment that is allocated to property taxes accumulates and is forwarded to the District of Clearwater, by the Mortgagor, when property taxes are due.
If your taxes are being remitted by a mortgage company or financial institution, you will still receive a property tax notice from the District of Clearwater. The District of Clearwater mails to each Mortgagor a listing of all known properties to which this Mortgagor remits property taxes on behalf of. It is between you and your Mortgagor to ensure the correct property taxes are paid to the District of Clearwater taking into consideration your eligibility of the Provincial Home Owner Grant. You are not required to take your property tax notice to your Mortgagor – they will already have been advised of the property taxes outstanding on your property.
Note: The Mortgagor must advise the District of Clearwater that they require annual property tax information on your property. As a precaution, it is recommended that if you have a new mortgage that you take a copy of your property tax notice to your Mortgage holder to ensure that they are remitting property taxes on your behalf.
Avoid long line ups at Tax & Utility times
Here are some options that will eliminate having to wait in line at tax and utility due dates.
Paying Taxes Online
You can pay your taxes using on-line banking services. You will need your roll number to set up the District of Clearwater as an entity to make a payment.
Paying Taxes Using Interac
You may pay by Interac at the District Office. Credit Cards are NOT accepted for property tax payments.
Post Dated Cheques
You can pay your taxes with a cheque post dated to the tax due date! This will allow District staff time to check your payment and Home Owner Grant application. Staff can notify you prior to the due date if there are any issues with your payment or grant application. The payment is not cashed at the Bank until the date of the cheque. Cheques must be RECEIVED at the District Office by the tax due date in order to avoid the 10% penalty. Post marks on envelopes are not acceptable.
Payment Drop Box
There is a payment drop box at the District office (if you are looking at the main entrance from the outside, the drop box is located within the next outside door to the right). Place your cheque and/or Home Owner Grant in an envelope and drop it in the box. Your payments will be processed promptly each morning (Monday to Friday).
Your Mortgagor (Bank) Pays your Taxes
If your Mortgagor pays your taxes and you are eligible for a Home Owner Grant, avoid a penalty by claiming your grant as soon as you receive your tax notice.
To avoid line-ups or penalties associated with problems with your Home Owner Grant, applications should be sent to the District office as soon as you receive your tax notice. Don’t wait until the tax due date! If you are unable to pay your property taxes, you should still claim your Home Owner Grant prior to the due date to avoid penalties on the Grant portion of your taxes.
For more information on Property taxes, please visit www.sbr.gov.bc.ca/rpt.
Property Tax Deferment
Tax deferment is a low interest loan program offered by the Province of BC that assists qualified BC homeowners to pay for their annual property taxes. There are two deferment programs that allow you to defer all or part of your unpaid current year residential or residential and farm taxes on your principal residence after deduction of the home owner grant.
1. Property Tax Deferment Program
To qualify you must be either 55 years or older, surviving spouse or disabled, and have at least 25% equity in your home based on your assessment.
2. Families with Children
To qualify you must be supporting any children under the age of 18, or support children who attend an educational institution, or are supporting a person with disabilities and have at least 15% equity in your home based on your assessment.
You may defer taxes on the home where you reside and conduct your daily activities. Second residences, such as summer cottages or rental properties, do not qualify for tax deferment benefits.
You can apply once you receive your property tax notice:
- Pick up an Application and Agreement for Deferment of Property Taxes form
- Complete your home owner grant application and tax deferment application forms
- Return the completed home owner grant and deferment forms to the District of Clearwater for processing before the property tax due date.
The following fees apply and will be communicated to you through the Provincial Government:
- A one-time administration fee of $60 for new approved agreements.
- A $10 annual renewal fee for accounts with approved renewal applications.
- After deducting your home owner grant, you can defer all, or part, of the unpaid balance of your residential property taxes for the current year. All penalties, interest, previous years’ property taxes, etc. cannot be deferred.
- Simple interest is charged at a rate not greater than 2% below the bank prime rate. You can defer your taxes as long as you own and live in your home and continue to qualify for the program.
For more information on qualifying and applying for a Property Tax Deferment please contact the tax department at 250-674-2257 or visit the Province of BC website.
Tax Sale – General Information
NOTE: This is for general information purposes only and is not all inclusive. Please refer to the Local Government Act (Part 16, Division 7) for the specific legislation.
- The tax sale is a public auction of properties within a municipality which have outstanding property taxes from 2 years prior to the current year.
- The tax sale is held annually on the last Monday of September at 10 a.m. at the council chambers in the Municipal Hall of each municipality in BC.
- Notice of the time and place of the tax sale and the description and street address of each property subject to tax sale must be published in at least 2 issues of a newspaper.
- The last publication of the tax sale must be at least 3 days and not more than 10 days before the date of the tax sale.
- The lowest amount for which a property may be sold at tax sale is the upset price.
- The upset price is the sum of all the property taxes outstanding as at the date of the tax sale, plus all applicable penalties and interest, plus an additional 5% of all taxes, penalties and interest, plus all applicable Land Title Act fees.
- The highest bidder above the upset price must be declared the purchaser.
- If there is no bid, or no bid equal to the upset price, the municipality must be declared the purchaser.
- The purchaser must immediately pay the amount of the purchase price to the collector.
- The collector must give the purchaser a tax certificate and promptly file the notice of tax sale at the land title office.
- With 3 months of the tax sale, the collector must give written notice of the tax sale, including the day the redemption period ends either, to the owner(s) of the property by serving the notice or by registered mail.
- During the period allowed for redemption, a tax sale property must continue to be assessed and taxed in the owner’s name.
- A tax sale property may be redeemed from tax sale within 1 year of the date of the tax sale by the owner of the property, an owner of a registered charge against the property or another person on their behalf.
- The amount to redeem a tax sale property is the sum of the upset price, plus all costs of which the collector has had notice that have been incurred by the purchaser in maintenance of the tax sale property and in prevention of waste, plus taxes advanced by the purchaser, plus prescribed interest to the date of redemption.
- During the period of redemption, the owner retains the right to possession of the tax sale property.
- The purchaser has the right to enter on the tax sale property to maintain it in proper condition and to prevent waste.
- On redemption of a tax sale property, the purchaser is entitled to receive all amounts paid by the purchaser, together with prescribed interest.
- If the tax sale property is redeemed, the collector must promptly file a notice of redemption at the land title office.
- If the tax sale property is not redeemed, the collector must file a notice of non-redemption at the land title office.
- Upon receipt of a notice of non-redemption by the land title office, the property is conveyed to the purchaser free and clear of all mortgages, charges, liens, etc. except those imposed by a senior government (Province of British Columbia, Government of Canada).
- In the case of non-redemption of a property subject to the Strata Property Act, a tax sale purchaser is responsible for the payment of any outstanding strata fees and charges which must be paid to the strata corporation prior to conveyance of the property.
- The purchase of a tax sale property is subject to tax under the Property Transfer Tax Act on the fair market value of the property at the time of conveyance.
- During the period of redemption, the owner may bring an action in the Supreme Court to have the tax sale set aside and declared invalid under certain specified grounds.
Tax Sale – Frequently Asked Questions
(Note: Other municipalities may have differing policies and procedures than those noted below.)
1. What Information Can Be Released About Tax Sale Properties?
Besides any information that would normally be available to the public, a copy of the advertisement is available by e-mail or over-the-counter to anyone on request.
2. How Is The Upset Price Calculated?
The upset price is calculated by adding together the outstanding delinquent plus interest, the outstanding arrears plus interest, the outstanding current plus penalty, 5% of the sum of the foregoing and land title fees.
3. Is The Tax Sale In Each Municipality Held At The Same Time, Same Date And Same Place?
Yes. The local government act requires that the tax sale be held at 10:00 a.m. on the last monday in september in the council chambers of each municipality.
4. Who Is The Auctioneer?
The tax collector acts as the auctioneer. The tax collector may delegate this responsibility to someone else.
5. Do Tax Sale Properties Have To Be Advertised In The Newspaper?
Yes. The local government act requires that notice of the time and place of the tax sale and the description and street address of the properties subject to tax sale be published in at least 2 issues of a newspaper.
6. What If Someone Wants To Know If A Tax Sale Property Can Be Subdivided, Or Built On If Vacant, Or How Old The House Is, Or If There Is A Bc Hydro Easement, Or If The Property Is In The Flood Plain, Etc.?
All questions regarding the property must be investigated by the person making the inquiry to the applicable municipal department (e.g. planning, development, etc) or provincial ministry, land titles or other agencies. the municipality makes no representation concerning tax sale properties. “caveat emptor – let the buyer beware”.
7. If Someone Wants To Bid On More Than One Property At The Tax Sale, Do They Need A Certified Cheque For Each Property?
Yes. Other payment options are cash or a letter of credit from their bank.
8. Who Pays The Property Taxes During The Redemption Period?
The current owner is responsible to pay the taxes during the redemption period. however, if the owner does not pay the taxes, the purchaser may pay the taxes in order to avoid the penalty if the property is not redeemed. The owner must reimburse the purchaser for any taxes paid plus interest in order to redeem the property.
9. If The Property Is Redeemed, Is Interest Paid On The Amount Paid By The Purchaser?
Yes. Interest is paid at the rate used to calculate arrears/delinquent interest. the rate is set by the province of bc every 4 months.
10. What Happens If A Property Is Not Redeemed And There Is A Mortgage?
The property is then conveyed to the purchaser free and clear of any mortgages, charges, liens, etc. except for charges, etc. imposed by the provincial or federal governments.
11. What Is The Property Transfer Tax?
The property transfer tax is a tax charged by the province of bc on the transfer of real property. The tax is based on the fair market value of the property. The rate of tax is:
- 1% on the first $200,000,
- 2% on the portion of the fair market value greater than $200,000 and up to and including $2,000,000, and
- 3% on the portion of the fair market value greater than $2,000,000.
Examples of exemptions from this tax are: sale of real property to a spouse; first time home buyers.