Frequently Asked Questions About Property Taxation

How are taxes calculated?

Property Tax Estimator
What will your tax bill be in 2013? Calculate your property taxes with our new online Property Tax Estimator.

The formula for calculating taxes on property is:

Tax rate x assessed value

The tax rate is expressed as a dollar amount on every $1,000 of assessed value. If the tax rate for residential property is 8, this means that taxes of $8 are charged on every $1,000 of assessed value. Property valued at $100,000 would thus be charged taxes of $800 (100 x $8).

The assessed value of property for tax purposes is determined by the British Columbia Assessment Authority. The Authority is established under provincial legislation, and is independent of the municipality. The City is not involved in determining assessed values.

Taxation on property is the primary source of municipal revenue. The Local Government Act, which is a Provincial Act, sets out in detail the regulations for property taxation. The amount of money to be raised through taxation is set by Council through the budget process, but other aspects of the taxation process, such as the due date for taxes and the penalty on late taxes, are regulated by the Local Government Act.

Council does not have the power to adjust the taxes on individual properties. The taxes are set by the tax rate which applies to that class of property. For instance, if the tax rate for residential property is 8, then ALL residential properties must be charged this rate.

What is included on my annual tax notice?


 

Your annual tax notice includes ALL property taxes - those imposed by the City and those imposed by other governing jurisdictions. The City collects taxes on behalf of others as follows:

School Taxes These are remitted to the Provincial Government
Hospital Taxes These are remitted to the Hospital District
NORD Taxes These include the NORD 1 rate; the Parks & Rec rate and the NORD 3 rate
Assessor These are the B.C. Assessment Authority taxes
MFA These are the Municipal Finance Authority taxes
Library These are taxes imposed by the Library Board.

All of these tax levies are NOT set by the City, but are collected by the City on behalf of those governing jurisdictions. This is more efficient and economical than each of these tax authorities sending individual tax notices. Your City Council sets the rates only for City taxes, Fire taxes and Local Services taxes.

The annual tax notice has the Home Owner Grant application form attached. This form MUST be completed, if eligible, each year to claim the grant.

 

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EXPLANATION OF TAX LEVY ITEMS:

SCHOOL - residential & non-residential collected for the Provincial Government on all properties and reported to the "Ministry of Small Business and Revenue, Property Taxes".
Their website is http://www.sbr.gov.bc.ca/individuals/Property_Taxes/School_Property_Tax/school_property_tax.htm

BC ASSESSMENT - collected for B C Assessment Authority, this is a Provincial agency set up to valuate and classify all pieces of real property throughout British Columbia. Their website is http://www.bcassessment.ca/Pages/default.aspx

HOSPITAL - collected for the Interior Health Authority to help cover the costs of construction and maintenance of the Vernon Jubilee Hospital. Their website is http://www.interiorhealth.ca/information.aspx?id=7632

LIBRARY - collected for the Okanagan Regional Library. Their website is http://www.orl.bc.ca/aboutus/finance.aspx

MFA - collected for the Municipal Finance Authority, this is a Provincial agency set up to provide financing of capital requirements for Regional Districts and their Municipalities. Their website is http://www.mfa.bc.ca/

NORD 1 / PARKS & RECREATION / NORD 3 - includes; parks & recreation, solid waste disposal, administration, water distribution, etc. collected for the Regional District of North Okanagan. Their website is http://www.rdno.ca/index.php

GENERAL CITY/FIRE TAXES - includes the cost of fire protection, operating costs, debt servicing, etc., collected for the City of Vernon.
Our website is www.vernon.ca

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When are taxes due?

Property taxes cover the fiscal year - January 1 to December 31 - and are due the first business day in July. Under the Community Charter, the municipality must charge a 10% penalty on late taxes. The City of Vernon charges a 10% penalty on the first working day after the tax due date.

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How can I pay my property taxes?  Do you accept credit cards?

Payment can be made by cash, cheque, money order or debit card at City Hall. Payment can also be made by your mortgage company. Payment by way of post-dated cheque is encouraged. Send the cheque with your completed and signed Home Owner Grant application, if eligible, to City Hall. Leave plenty of time for mail delivery, as postmarks will NOT be considered as date of payment.

How can I pay?

  • In addition, your utility account can be paid online through your bank. Unfortunately, credit cards are not accepted.

 

The City of Vernon offers a Property Tax Prepayment Plan (PAWS). This allows you to pay next year's property taxes in advance by automatic monthly deductions from your bank account. Monthly payments will be collected on the 15th day of each month, starting in August and ending in May. There is no withdrawal for the month of June and a final adjusting withdrawal on the tax due date in July. The annual tax notice, mailed to you at the end of May each year, will show your current year's taxes less the total prepayments and interest earned. You are responsible for applying for the Home Owner Grant if eligible by the due date to avoid penalties. All PAWS customers are encouraged to claim their Home Owner Grant, if eligible, by June 15 to ensure your final withdrawal amount is correct. Download the Property Tax Prepayment Plan form - 115Kb PDF - Opens in new window, or it may be picked up at City Hall, or call the property tax department at 250-545-1361.

The Property Tax Prepayment Plan is a convenient method of paying your taxes. It will assist in your budgeting and eliminate the impact of one large annual payment in July. For further information, please contact our tax department.

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What is the Home Owner Grant? Am I eligible to claim it?

 

The Home Owner Grant is a grant provided by the British Columbia Government to owners of residential property. The grant, if eligible, must be claimed each year. The application form is attached to the bottom of your tax notice, or you can claim it online at www.vernon.ca/ehog.

The Basic Home Owner Grant is up to $570. To be eligible, you must:

    • be a permanent resident of British Columbia
    • be living in the house at the time you claim the grant, and
    • be shown on the title as a registered owner.

The grant cannot be claimed on vacant land. Only ONE grant is allowed for each property, and you can only claim the grant once each year. When there are joint owners or multiple owners on title, any ONE owner on the title can claim the grant. If the property is registered to a company, no grant can be claimed. If your mortgage company is paying your taxes, you must still complete the Grant application, if eligible, and ensure it is received by the City by the tax due date.

 

An additional grant of up to $275 is available for seniors and persons with permanent disabilities. If you are 65 or will be turning 65 during the current year, complete section 2 of the Home Owner Grant application. Please ensure you enter the date of your birth. If you are a person with disabilities, or are the spouse or relative of a person with disabilities and that person lives with you, you may be eligible for the disability grant. The disability must be permanent and must require extensive physical assistance or costly structural modifications to the home to be eligible. Your doctor must complete the appropriate form to certify the disability. These forms are available at City Hall.

If the registered owner of the property is recently deceased, a spouse or relative also living on the property (as their principal residence) may claim the grant, but only if they were living with the deceased at time of death, and are living in the home when they claim the grant.

New owners, whose names are not yet on the property tax notice, must produce a copy of their Certificate of Title or Freehold Transfer when claiming the Home Owner Grant. If you think you might be eligible for the additional grant under Section 2 of the Home Owner Grant application, please contact the tax department for further information.

What is the Northern and Rural Area Homeowner Benefit (NRAHOB)?
This is a benefit of up to $200 that is available for the 2011 and subsequent tax years.
To be eligible for the benefit, you must meet the requirements of the basic and/or additional grant, and your home must be located in British Columbia but outside the Capital Regional District (CRD), the Greater Vancouver Regional District (GVRD) and the Fraser Valley Regional District (FVRD).

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For more information, contact the Property Tax Department at: 

 Tax Inquiries:
Email:

250-545-1361
finance@vernon.ca

Fax:
In Person:

250-545-7876
City Hall 3400 30 Street

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