Property Tax Exemptions
Types of Exemptions
General Statutory exemptions are automatically applied and mandatory through the Community Charter legislation. Council does not have control over the types of exemptions within this category which include places of worship, land and improvements vested and held by the Provincial Government, hospitals and schools.
To balance the social benefits that not-for-profit organizations add to the quality of life in the community with the acknowledgment that all property owners must contribute towards services that the City provides. Council has adopted the Permissive Property Tax Grant-in-Aid Council Policy [PDF - 467 KB] to provide guidelines for tax exemption applications. Applications are available at City Hall or as apart of the previously mentioned policy.
The City collects revenue on behalf of other organizations as part of the annual property tax bill: the Province of BC - School Tax, Hospital, Peace River Regional District, Municipal Finance Authority, BC Assessment Authority and BC Transit. Taxes collected on behalf of the Province of BC - School Tax and the Peace River Regional District are considered the non-municipal portion.
Commencing in 2021, changes to the Permissive Tax criteria will be phased in to allow organizations and groups to plan and prepare:
- Financial assistance to offset permissive property tax amounts will be granted through the Grant-in-Aid process for the 2021 Budget
- Commencing January 1, 2021, the City will cease to exempt 50% of the non-municipal portion of recipient exemption
- Commencing on January 1, 2022, the City will cease to exempt 100% of the non-municipal portion of recipient exemption
- Commencing January 1, 2023, all recipients will have five years to adjust to the 75% limit
- Each year recipients will receive 5% less in permissive tax exemptions until they are at the 75% exemption level of municipal taxes; new applicants will be exempted at the same level as current recipients
- Permissive Tax requests will be directed to the Community Foundation once established
Permissive tax exemptions differ from statutory tax exemptions, which are automatic and provided by provincial legislation. When granting a permissive tax grant-in-aid, the City has the flexibility to tailor the financial contribution to meet particular circumstances. This includes the option of providing a grant-in-aid to all or part of an eligible property.
Since permissive tax exemptions result in the remainder of the taxpayers having to absorb those taxes not paid by others, care must be taken to ensure all exemptions are well aligned with the objective and values of the City. The City transitioned from the legislative process (permissive tax exemption bylaw) to a community-driven grant-in-aid process that will provide additional transparency around the value provided by City taxpayers to each property that receives this type of financial assistance.
Applications must be submitted to the Legislative and Administrative Services Department before June 15 of each year for Council's consideration for the following year's property taxes.