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Community Charter

[SBC 2003] CHAPTER 26

Part 7 — Municipal Revenue

Division 1 — General

General revenue sources

192  Municipalities have the following revenue sources:

(a) fees under Division 2 [Fees];

(b) taxes under Division 3 [Property Value Taxes];

(c) taxes under Division 4 [Parcel Taxes];

(d) taxes under Division 5 [Local Service Taxes];

(e) taxes under section 353 [taxation of utility company property] of the Local Government Act;

(f) fines and other penalties referred to in section 261 [payment of fines and other penalties to municipality];

(g) revenues raised by other means authorized under this or another Act;

(h) revenues received by way of agreement, enterprise, gift, grant or otherwise.

Authority for fees and taxes

193  (1) A municipality may not impose fees or taxes except as expressly authorized under this or another Act.

(2) Section 12 (1) [authority to establish variations] does not apply in relation to bylaws imposing taxes referred to in section 192 (b), (c), (d) and (e).

(3) A council may only provide an exemption from property taxes if expressly authorized by this Part or another Act.

(4) For the purposes of assessment, taxation, recovery of taxes and tax sale, parcels combined under the Assessment Act to form one parcel are deemed to constitute one parcel.

Interest calculation

193.1  A municipality may, by bylaw, establish the manner in which interest is calculated if

(a) this or another Act provides a requirement or authority to apply interest to an amount owed to, or owing by, the municipality, and

(b) the manner in which interest is calculated is not otherwise provided for.

Division 2 — Fees

Municipal fees

194  (1) A council may, by bylaw, impose a fee payable in respect of

(a) all or part of a service of the municipality,

(b) the use of municipal property, or

(c) the exercise of authority to regulate, prohibit or impose requirements.

(2) Without limiting subsection (1), a bylaw under this section may do one or more of the following:

(a) apply outside the municipality, if the bylaw is in relation to an authority that may be exercised outside the municipality;

(b) base the fee on any factor specified in the bylaw and, in addition to the authority under section 12 (1) [variation authority], establish different rates or levels of fees in relation to different factors;

(c) establish fees for obtaining copies of documents that are available for public inspection;

(d) establish terms and conditions for payment of a fee, including discounts, interest and penalties;

(e) provide for the refund of a fee.

(3) As exceptions, a council may not impose a fee under this section

(a) in relation to Part 3 [Electors and Elections] or 4 [Other Voting] of the Local Government Act, or

(b) in relation to any other matter for which this or another Act specifically authorizes the imposition of a fee.

(4) A municipality must make available to the public, on request, a report respecting how a fee imposed under this section was determined.

(5) A municipality may not impose a highway toll unless specifically provided by a Provincial or federal enactment.

Fees in relation to soil removal and deposit

195  (1) A council may, by bylaw, do one or both of the following:

(a) impose rates or levels of fees for a permit required under a municipal bylaw for

(i)   the removal of soil from, or

(ii)   the deposit of soil or other material on

any land in the municipality or in any area of the municipality;

(b) impose rates or levels of fees for the activities referred to in paragraph (a).

(2) Without limiting section 12 (1) [variation authority], fees under subsection (1) may vary according to the quantity of soil removed or the quantity of soil or other material deposited and may be different for different areas of the municipality.

(3) A bylaw under subsection (1) has no effect until it is approved by the minister.

Fees in relation to fire and security alarm systems

196  (1) In relation to fire alarm systems and security alarm systems, a council may, by bylaw, impose fees that are to be paid

(a) by the owner or occupier of real property to which services are provided by or on behalf of the municipality, including policing services under section 3 (2) of the Police Act, in response to a false alarm of a system, or

(b) by the persons who lease or otherwise provide these systems to the owners or occupiers of real property, if services referred to in paragraph (a) are provided in response to a false alarm of a system.

(2) Without limiting section 12 (1) [variation authority], a fee under subsection (1) may vary in relation to the number of occasions on which services referred to in that subsection are provided.

(3) As an exception, a bylaw under this section does not apply to fire alarm systems that are intended to alert only the occupants of the dwelling unit in which they are installed.

Division 3 — Property Value Taxes

Annual property tax bylaw

197  (1) Each year, after adoption of the financial plan but before May 15, a council must, by bylaw, impose property value taxes for the year by establishing tax rates for

(a) the municipal revenue proposed to be raised for the year from property value taxes, as provided in the financial plan, and

(b) the amounts to be collected for the year by means of rates established by the municipality to meet its taxing obligations in relation to another local government or other public body.

(2) Unless otherwise permitted by this or another Act, a property value tax under subsection (1) must be imposed

(a) on all land and improvements in the municipality, other than land and improvements that are exempt under this or another Act in relation to the tax, and

(b) on the basis of the assessed value of the land and improvements.

(3) For the purposes of subsection (1) (a), the bylaw may establish for each property class

(a) a single rate for all revenue to be raised, or

(b) separate rates for revenue to be raised for different purposes but, in this case, the relationships between the different property class rates must be the same for all purposes.

(3.1) In relation to tax rates established for the purposes of subsection (1) (a), before adopting the bylaw, the council must consider the tax rates proposed for each property class in conjunction with the objectives and policies set out under section 165 (3.1) (b) [property value tax distribution] in its financial plan.

(4) For the purposes of subsection (1) (b), for each local government or other public body in relation to which the amounts are to be collected,

(a) the bylaw must establish separate rates for each property class, and

(b) the relationships between the different property class rates must be the same as the relationships established under subsection (3) unless otherwise required under this or another Act.

(5) If the amount of revenue raised in any year for a body under subsection (1) (b) is more or less than the amount that is required to meet the municipality's obligation, the difference must be used to adjust the rate under subsection (1) (b) for the next year.

(6) The minimum amount of tax under subsection (1) in any year on a parcel of real property is $1.

(7) Property value taxes under subsection (1) are deemed to be imposed on January 1 of the year in which the bylaw under that subsection is adopted, unless expressly provided otherwise by the bylaw or by the enactment under which they are imposed.

Assessment averaging and phasing options

198  (1) Instead of imposing tax rates on the assessed value of land, an annual property tax bylaw may impose rates applicable to one or more property classes by assessment averaging or assessment phasing in accordance with the regulations under subsection (2).

(2) For the purpose of allowing municipalities to moderate the impact of sudden changes in the assessed value of land, the Lieutenant Governor in Council may make regulations as follows:

(a) establishing formulas for determining modified assessed values that are to be used to impose property value taxes and authorizing variation of those formulas;

(b) exempting, or authorizing the exemption of, particular types of property within a property class, or of property in prescribed circumstances, from the application of a bylaw under this section;

(c) providing for a process to review and correct errors made in applying a bylaw under this section to any property;

(d) establishing restrictions, conditions and requirements relating to the imposition of tax rates under this section;

(e) in relation to taxes that are imposed under other enactments and collected by a municipality, providing that, despite the other enactments,

(i)   the values imposed under this section apply, and

(ii)   the rates to be imposed are to be determined using those values.

Property tax rates regulations

199  The Lieutenant Governor in Council may make regulations respecting tax rates that may be established by an annual property tax bylaw, including regulations doing one or more of the following:

(a) prescribing limits on tax rates;

(b) prescribing relationships between tax rates;

(c) prescribing formulas for calculating the limits or relationships referred to in paragraph (a) or (b);

(d) allowing the inspector under prescribed circumstances to vary, by order, a limit, relationship or formula prescribed under this section.

Division 4 — Parcel Taxes

Parcel tax bylaw

200  (1) A council may, by bylaw, impose a parcel tax in accordance with this Division to provide all or part of the funding for a service.

(2) A bylaw under subsection (1) must do the following:

(a) state the service for which the tax is imposed;

(b) state the years for which the tax is imposed;

(c) identify the parcel tax roll under this Division that is to be used to impose the tax;

(d) state the basis on which the tax is to be imposed, as referred to in section 202 (2) [basis of taxation for parcel taxes];

(e) impose the tax in accordance with subsection (3).

(3) A bylaw under subsection (1) must impose the parcel tax as follows:

(a) in the case of a tax to be imposed on the basis provided under section 202 (2) (a) [single amount per parcel], by establishing the amount to be paid as tax;

(b) in the case of a tax to be imposed on the basis provided under section 202 (2) (b) or (c) [taxable area or taxable frontage], by establishing either

(i)   the rate of tax to be paid per unit of taxable area or taxable frontage, or

(ii)   rates of tax to be paid for different ranges of taxable area or taxable frontage.

(4) The municipality must make available to the public, on request, a report respecting how amounts or rates were determined for the purposes of subsection (3).

(5) In each year that a parcel tax is imposed under this Division, it is deemed to be imposed on January 1 of the year, unless expressly provided otherwise by the bylaw under subsection (1).

Property subject to parcel tax

201  (1) Unless otherwise permitted under this or another Act, a parcel tax under this Division must be imposed on all parcels within the municipality, other than those that are exempt from the tax.

(2) In the case of a service that is provided to land or improvements, a parcel tax under this Division may be imposed only on parcels that have the opportunity to be provided with the service, whether or not they are in fact being provided with the service.

(3) A bylaw under section 200 [parcel tax bylaw] may provide for waiving or reducing the tax if the owner or a previous owner of the parcel has

(a) provided all or part of the service at the owner's expense, or

(b) already paid towards the cost of the service on terms and conditions specified in the bylaw.

Parcel tax roll for purpose of imposing tax

202  (1) A council may, by bylaw, direct the preparation of a parcel tax roll for the purposes of imposing a parcel tax.

(2) A bylaw under subsection (1) must establish the basis on which a parcel tax may be imposed using the parcel tax roll, which may be on the basis of one or more of the following:

(a) a single amount for each parcel;

(b) the taxable area of the parcel;

(c) the taxable frontage of the parcel.

(3) If the bylaw provides a basis under subsection (2) (b) or (c), it must establish how the taxable area or taxable frontage of a parcel is to be determined, subject to the following:

(a) the methods for determination must be based on the physical characteristics of the parcel and may be different for parcels having different classes of physical characteristics;

(b) the basis established for parcels having one class of physical characteristics must be fair and equitable as compared with the basis established for parcels having other classes of physical characteristics.

Content of parcel tax roll

203  (1) A parcel tax roll must set out the following:

(a) the parcels on which the tax is to be imposed;

(b) the name and address of the owner of each parcel;

(c) unless the tax is imposed on the basis of a single amount for each parcel, the taxable area or the taxable frontage of each parcel, as applicable;

(d) if the name of a holder of a registered charge is included on the assessment roll under section 4 of the Assessment Act for a parcel, the name and address of that person.

(2) The collector may correct errors on the parcel tax roll at any time before the roll is authenticated under section 206.

(3) Once it has been prepared by the collector, the parcel tax roll must be available for public inspection.

(4) If requested by an owner, the collector must amend a parcel tax roll that is to be available for public inspection by omitting or obscuring the address of the owner or other information about the owner in order to protect the privacy or security of the owner.

(5) A request under subsection (4) continues to apply to other parcel tax rolls under this Division until the request is rescinded.

Parcel tax roll review panel

204  (1) Before a parcel tax is imposed for the first time, a parcel tax roll review panel must consider any complaints respecting the parcel tax roll and must authenticate the roll in accordance with this Division.

(2) For the purposes of this Division, the council must

(a) appoint at least 3 persons as the members of the parcel tax roll review panel,

(b) establish the time and place for the sitting of the panel, and

(c) have advance notice of the time and place published in accordance with section 94 [public notice].

(3) At least 14 days before the date set for the sitting of the parcel tax roll review panel, the collector must mail to the owner of every parcel of land that is to be taxed a notice stating

(a) the service in relation to which the parcel tax is to be imposed,

(b) the taxable area or the taxable frontage, if applicable,

(c) the time and place of the first sitting of the review panel, and

(d) that the parcel tax roll is available for inspection at the municipal hall during its regular office hours.

Review panel to hear complaints and make corrections

205  (1) Subject to subsection (2), a person may make a complaint to the parcel tax roll review panel on one or more of the following grounds:

(a) there is an error or omission respecting a name or address on the parcel tax roll;

(b) there is an error or omission respecting the inclusion of a parcel;

(c) there is an error or omission respecting the taxable area or the taxable frontage of a parcel;

(d) an exemption has been improperly allowed or disallowed.

(2) A complaint must not be heard by the parcel tax roll review panel unless written notice of the complaint has been given to the municipality at least 48 hours before the time set for the first sitting of the review panel.

(3) The parcel tax roll review panel may direct the correction of the parcel tax roll respecting any matter referred to in subsection (1).

(4) As a limit on subsection (3), a correction that would

(a) include a parcel on the parcel tax roll that had not been included before, or

(b) increase the taxable area or taxable frontage of a parcel on the parcel tax roll

must not be directed until 5 days after notice has been mailed to the owner of the parcel.

(5) The notice under subsection (4) must state

(a) the intention of the parcel tax roll review panel, and

(b) the time and place set for the panel to give its direction.

(6) The following sections of the Assessment Act apply to a parcel tax roll review panel:

section 32 (3), (4) and (5) [complaints by local government or assessor];

section 33 (3) [contents of notice of complaint];

section 35 (1) (b) and (c) and (2) [notice of hearing to complainant];

section 36 [daily schedule of review panel];

section 37 [notice of withdrawal of complaint];

section 38 (2) (a), (7) and (9) [review panel procedures];

section 40 [burden of proof].

(7) For the purposes of subsection (6), a reference in those sections to a review panel is deemed to be a reference to a parcel tax roll review panel and a reference to an assessor is deemed to be a reference to the collector.

Authentication of parcel tax roll

206  (1) The chair of the parcel tax roll review panel must review the parcel tax roll to confirm that the directed corrections have been made and must report this to the review panel.

(2) After receiving the report, the review panel must confirm and authenticate the parcel tax roll by certificate signed by a majority of its members.

(3) Within 10 days after a parcel tax roll is authenticated, the collector must mail notice of the decision made by the parcel tax roll review panel, or of its refusal to adjudicate the complaint made, to

(a) the owner of the property to which the decision relates, and

(b) the complainant, if the complainant is not the owner.

(4) Notice under subsection (3) must include a statement that the decision may be appealed to the Supreme Court in accordance with section 207.

Appeal to Supreme Court from review panel decision

207  (1) A decision of the parcel tax roll review panel may be appealed to the Supreme Court by a person entitled to notice under section 206 (3) or by the municipality.

(2) In order for a person entitled to notice to appeal a decision, within 10 days after the notice is mailed or otherwise delivered to the person, the person must serve on the municipality a written notice of intention to appeal that

(a) is signed by the person, or by the person's solicitor or an agent authorized in writing, and

(b) sets out the grounds of appeal.

(3) In order for the municipality to appeal a decision, within 10 days after the date on which the parcel tax roll is authenticated, it must serve a written notice as described in subsection (2) on the property owner affected by the appeal and, if applicable, on the complainant.

(4) The court must set a date for hearing the appeal, notice of which must be given to the municipality, the property owner and, if applicable, the complainant.

(5) On an appeal under this section,

(a) the collector must produce before the court the parcel tax roll and all records in that officer's possession affecting the matter, and

(b) the court must hear the appeal, including evidence given on oath before it, in a summary manner.

(6) The court may adjourn the hearing of an appeal under this section and defer judgment in its discretion, but so that all appeals may be determined within 30 days from the authentication of the parcel tax roll by the parcel tax roll review panel.

(7) If an appeal is not decided within the time referred to in subsection (6), the decision of the parcel tax roll review panel stands.

(8) A decision of the Supreme Court under this section may be appealed on a question of law to the Court of Appeal with leave of a justice of the Court of Appeal.

Updating the parcel tax roll

208  (1) The collector may amend the parcel tax roll in relation to a matter referred to in section 205 (1) [grounds for complaints to review panel] on receiving a request under subsection (2) or on the collector's own initiative.

(2) A person who owns a parcel included on a parcel tax roll may request that the roll be amended under this section respecting a matter referred to in section 205 (1), but only in relation to the person's own property.

(3) In each year after the first year in which a parcel tax is imposed, the municipality must publish in a newspaper a notice indicating the following:

(a) the parcel tax roll is available for inspection at the municipal hall during its regular office hours;

(b) a person who owns a parcel included on the parcel tax roll may request that the roll be amended respecting a matter referred to in section 205 (1) [complaints to review panel], but only in relation to the person's own property;

(c) the time by which a request must be made in order to be considered for that year.

(4) A request under subsection (2) must be made in writing to the municipality before the time specified in the notice.

(5) Notice of an amendment, or a refusal to make an amendment requested under subsection (2), must be mailed to the owners of parcels in relation to which the amendment was made or the request received, and for the purposes of sending notices to these owners, section 205 (4) and (5) [notice of sitting by review panel] applies.

(6) A person who is an owner referred to in subsection (5) may make a complaint on one or more of the grounds set out in section 205 (1) [complaints to review panel], but only in relation to the person's own property.

(7) A complaint under subsection (6) is made by giving written notice of the complaint to the municipality within 30 days after the date on which the notice under subsection (5) was delivered.

(8) If a municipality receives a complaint in accordance with subsection (7), it must establish a parcel tax roll review panel to deal with the complaint, and for these purposes sections 205 to 207 [review panel process] apply.

(9) A parcel tax roll review panel under subsection (8) only has authority to amend the parcel tax roll in relation to parcels in respect of which a complaint under subsection (6) has been made.

(10) If no complaints under subsection (6) are received, the parcel tax roll as it is amended under subsection (1) is deemed to have been authenticated by a parcel tax review panel.

Validity of parcel tax roll

209  Subject to amendment under section 207 [appeal to Supreme Court] and despite any omission, defect or error in procedure, in a parcel tax roll, in a notice or in the omission to deliver a notice,

(a) the initial parcel tax roll, as authenticated by the parcel tax roll review panel, is valid and binding on all parties concerned until amended under section 208 [updating the parcel tax roll], and

(b) any subsequent parcel tax roll prepared under section 208 that is authenticated or deemed to be authenticated by a parcel tax roll review panel under that section is valid and binding on all parties concerned until any further amendments are made under that section.

Division 5 — Local Service Taxes

Authority for local area services

210  (1) A local area service is a municipal service that is to be paid for in whole or in part by a local service tax under section 216 [local service taxes].

(2) The only services that may be provided as local area services are

(a) services that the council considers provide particular benefit to part of the municipality, and

(b) business improvement area services under section 215 [business improvement areas].

(3) Nothing in this Division restricts a municipality from recovering part of the costs of a local area service by means of any other source of municipal revenue.

Requirements for establishing a local area service

211  (1) A municipality must adopt a bylaw to establish a local area service, and may only do this if

(a) the service and its cost recovery methods have been proposed by petition in accordance with section 212 [petition for local area service],

(b) the service and its cost recovery methods have been proposed by council initiative in accordance with section 213 [local area service on council initiative — subject to petition against], or

(c) the bylaw has received assent of the electors in accordance with section 214 [local area service on council initiative — subject to elector assent].

(2) The bylaw establishing a local area service must

(a) describe the service,

(b) define the boundaries of the local service area,

(c) identify the methods of cost recovery for the service, including the form of local service tax and the portion of the costs of the service that are to be recovered by the local service tax, and

(d) if applicable, identify the portion of the costs of the service that are to be recovered by a general property tax.

(3) If the minister exercises authority under section 137 (2) [power to amend or repeal bylaws] in relation to a bylaw establishing a local area service, the restriction in subsection (1) of this section does not apply.

Petition for local area service

212  (1) The persons who may petition for a local area service are the owners of parcels that would be subject to the local service tax for the service.

(2) Each page of a petition for a local area service must do the following:

(a) describe the service in general terms;

(b) define the boundaries of the local service area;

(c) provide an estimate of the costs of the service;

(d) if it is proposed that the municipality borrow for the purposes of the service and all or part of the costs of the borrowing are to be recovered by means of the local service tax, indicate

(i)   the total amount proposed to be borrowed under the bylaw,

(ii)   the maximum term for which the debentures may be issued, and

(iii)   the portion of those costs that are to be recovered by a local service tax;

(e) indicate the proposed methods of cost recovery for the service, including the form of local service tax and the portion of the costs of the service that are to be recovered by the local service tax;

(f) if applicable, indicate what portion of the costs are proposed to be recovered by a general municipal tax;

(g) include any other information that council requires.

(3) In order for a petition for a local area service to be certified as sufficient and valid,

(a) the petition must be signed by the owners of at least 50% of the parcels that would be subject to the local service tax, and

(b) the persons signing must be the owners of parcels that in total represent at least 50% of the assessed value of land and improvements that would be subject to the local service tax.

(4) The corporate officer must determine the sufficiency and validity of a petition to a council and must certify this determination.

(5) A certified determination under subsection (4) is final and conclusive.

(6) The following apply for the purposes of a petition under this section:

(a) if 2 or more persons are owners of a parcel,

(i)   they must be considered as one owner only,

(ii)   they are not entitled to petition unless a majority of them concurs, and

(iii)   unless a petition is signed by a majority of them, their signatures must be disregarded in determining whether the petition is sufficient;

(b) a person who would be liable for a local service tax by reason of being the holder or occupier of land held in the manner referred to in Division 8 [Tax Liability of Occupiers] of this Part may sign the petition as if the person were the owner;

(c) in relation to persons referred to in paragraph (b), in computing the values of the land and improvements, only the assessed value of the person's interest in them is to be used.

Local area service on council initiative — subject to petition against

213  (1) If a council proposes to undertake a local area service on its own initiative in accordance with this section, it must give notice of this intention

(a) in accordance with section 94 [public notice], and

(b) to the owners of parcels that would be subject to the local service tax.

(2) The notice under subsection (1) must include

(a) the information required under section 212 (2) [information requirements for petition],

(b) if the council is proposing that all or part of the costs may be waived or reduced in accordance with section 201 (3) [property subject to parcel tax], the amount that the property owner will be required to pay for this purpose, and

(c) a statement indicating that the council may proceed with establishing the service unless a petition against the service is presented within 30 days after notice has been given in accordance with this section.

(3) For the purposes of subsection (1) (b), the corporate officer must mail the notice to the applicable address as set out in the last revised assessment roll.

(4) Council may proceed with the local area service in accordance with the notice unless it receives a sufficient petition against the service within 30 days after the second publication under subsection (1) (a).

(5) Section 212 (3) to (6) [rules respecting petitions for local service] applies to a petition under this section.

(6) If a council has been prevented from undertaking a local area service because of a petition under this section, the council must not propose the same service on its own initiative within a period of one year after the presentation of the petition.

(7) As an exception to subsection (6), a council may again propose a local area service on its own initiative within the period referred to in that subsection if the service is varied from or less expensive than that originally proposed to be undertaken.

Local area service on council initiative — subject to elector assent

214  (1) If a council proposes to undertake a local area service on its own initiative in accordance with this section, the bylaw establishing the service may only be adopted with the assent of the electors in the local service area.

(2) As an exception, a council may not undertake a business improvement area service under this section.

Business improvement areas

215  (1) In this section:

"business improvement area" means the local service area for a service under this section;

"business improvement area service" means the provision of grants under subsection (2);

"business promotion scheme" means

(a) carrying out studies or making reports respecting one or more areas in the municipality where business or commerce is carried on,

(b) improving, beautifying or maintaining streets, sidewalks or municipally owned land, buildings or other structures in one or more business improvement areas,

(c) the removal of graffiti from buildings and other structures in one or more business improvement areas,

(d) conserving heritage property in one or more business improvement areas, and

(e) encouraging business in one or more business improvement areas.

(2) A council may grant money to a corporation or other organization that has, as one of its aims, functions or purposes, the planning and implementation of a business promotion scheme.

(3) All or part of a grant paid under subsection (2) must be recovered by means of a local service tax.

(4) The authority under subsection (2) is an exception to section 25 (1) [prohibition against assistance to business].

(5) In addition to the requirements under section 211 (2) [requirements for establishing a local area service], the bylaw establishing a business improvement area service

(a) must identify the business promotion scheme for which and the organization to which the money will be granted under subsection (2),

(b) must establish the maximum amount of money to be granted and the maximum term over which it may be granted, and

(c) may set conditions and limitations on the receipt and expenditure of the money.

(6) Money granted under this section must be expended only

(a) by the organization to which it is granted,

(b) in accordance with the conditions and limitations set out in the bylaw, and

(c) for the business promotion scheme described in the bylaw.

Local service taxes

216  (1) In all cases, all or part of the costs of a local area service may be recovered, in accordance with the establishing bylaw for the service, by means of either or both of

(a) a property value tax under Division 3 of this Part, which may be imposed on land, on improvements, or on both, and

(b) a parcel tax under Division 4 of this Part,

that are imposed only within the local service area.

(2) In the case of a business improvement area service, in addition to the taxes referred to in subsection (1), all or part of the costs of the service may be recovered by means of a tax, based on any factor set out in the establishing bylaw, that is imposed only within the business improvement area.

(3) A local service tax under subsection (1) or (2) in relation to a business improvement area

(a) may only be imposed on land or improvements, or both, that are

(i)   used during the year to operate a business of a class specified in the bylaw, or

(ii)   classified as Class 5 [light industry] or 6 [business and other] property class, and

(b) may have different rates for different classes of business, as those classes are established by the bylaw.

(4) Subject to this section, the other provisions of this Part apply in respect of a local service tax.

(5) Revenue from a local service tax may only be expended for the local area service in relation to which it is imposed.

Borrowing in relation to a local area service

217  (1) If all of the costs of borrowing for the purposes of a local area service are to be recovered by a local service tax, the loan authorization bylaw does not require the approval of the electors under section 180 [elector approval required for some loan authorization bylaws], but it may only be adopted if

(a) the borrowing has been proposed by petition in accordance with section 212 [petition for local area service],

(b) the borrowing has been proposed by council initiative in accordance with section 213 [local area service on council initiative — subject to petition against], or

(c) the bylaw has received assent of the electors in accordance with section 214 [local area service on council initiative — subject to elector assent].

(2) If part of the costs of borrowing for the purposes of a local area service are to be recovered by a local service tax,

(a) a separate loan authorization bylaw is required for the borrowing in relation to which costs are to be recovered by the local service tax, with the bylaw adopted in accordance with subsection (1), and

(b) a separate loan authorization bylaw is required for the borrowing in relation to which costs are to be recovered by any other means, with the bylaw adopted in accordance with Part 6 [Financial Management].

Enlargement or reduction of local service area

218  (1) This section applies to the amendment of the bylaw establishing a local area service that has the effect of enlarging or reducing the size of the local service area.

(2) The requirements under section 211 (1) [requirements for establishing a local area service] apply only in relation to the area to be included or excluded from the local service area and not to the rest of the local service area.

(3) If a local service area has been enlarged or reduced under this section, the liabilities incurred on behalf of the area as it was before enlargement or reduction must be borne by all the owners of parcels of land in the area as enlarged or reduced.

Merging of local service areas

219  (1) A council may, by bylaw, merge 2 or more local service areas into one local service area.

(2) A bylaw under subsection (1) may provide that repayment of any debt of one or more of the merged local service areas that is outstanding at the time of merger is to continue to be borne by the applicable former local service area as if that area continued to exist.

(3) Section 211 (1) [requirements for establishing a local area service] does not apply to the bylaw under subsection (1) of this section if

(a) there is no outstanding debt of any of the local service areas being merged,

(b) the outstanding debt of each of those local service areas is kept separate under subsection (2), or

(c) the bylaw establishing the service currently includes a provision for merger with one or more other local service areas and the merger is in accordance with the provision.

(4) If section 211 (1) applies to a bylaw under this section, the approval of the electors must be obtained separately for each local service area being merged.

Division 6 — Statutory Exemptions

General statutory exemptions

220  (1) Unless otherwise provided in this Act or the Local Government Act, the following property is exempt from taxation to the extent indicated:

(a) land, improvements or both vested in or held by the Provincial government;

(b) land, improvements or both vested in or held by

(i)   the municipality, or

(ii)   the municipality jointly with another municipality or a regional district;

(c) land, improvements or both exempt from municipal taxation by another Act;

(d) land, improvements or both

(i)   of a public library under the Library Act, or

(ii)   vested in or held by a municipality and occupied by a public library under the Library Act;

(e) land, improvements or both of an Indian, in a municipality incorporated under section 12 (1) of the Local Government Act, who is an owner under the letters patent, except for taxation under section 197 (1) (a) [municipal property taxes];

(f) land, improvements or both in a municipality, other than a municipality incorporated under section 12 (1) of the Local Government Act, that

(i)   are held in trust by the Crown for a band of Indians, and

(ii)   are not leased to or occupied by a person who is not a member of the band;

(g) the land actually used and occupied for the interment of the dead or in respect of which a certificate of public interest under the Cremation, Interment and Funeral Services Act has been issued by the director under that Act, together with the improvements included as part of the cemetery, mausoleum or columbarium under that Act, other than

(i)   premises used for the provision of funeral services within the meaning of that Act, except any part of those premises used for the provision of bereavement rites and ceremonies,

(ii)   crematoriums within the meaning of that Act, and

(iii)   premises, or that part of premises, used primarily for the sale of cemetery services or funeral services within the meaning of that Act;

(h) a building set apart for public worship, and the land on which the building stands, if title to the land is registered in the name of

(i)   the religious organization using the building,

(ii)   trustees for the use of that organization, or

(iii)   a religious organization granting a lease of the building and land to be used solely for public worship;

(i) a building that was constructed or reconstructed with the assistance of aid granted by the Provincial government after January 1, 1947 but before April 1, 1974 and that is owned and used exclusively without profit by a corporation to provide homes for elderly citizens, together with the land on which the building stands;

(j) a building set apart and used solely as a hospital under the Hospital Act, except a private hospital under that Act, together with the land on which the building stands;

(k) land and improvements for future hospital requirements that are

(i)   designated for the purposes of this section by the minister responsible for the Hospital Act, and

(ii)   vested in, or held by, a society or corporation that is not operated for profit and that has as an object the operation of a hospital;

(l) a building owned by an incorporated institution of learning that is regularly giving children instruction accepted as equivalent to that given in a public school, in actual occupation by the institution and wholly in use for the purpose of giving the instruction, together with the land on which the building stands;

(m) fruit trees;

(n) improvements, other than dwellings and the fixtures, machinery and similar things mentioned in paragraph (o), erected on farm land and used exclusively to operate a farm, up to but not exceeding the greater of the following:

(i)   87.5% of the assessed value;

(ii)   an assessed value of $50 000;

(o) fixtures, machinery and similar things located on farm land and used exclusively to operate the farm that, if erected or placed, in or on land, a building or fixture or structure in or on it, would, as between landlord and tenant, be removable by the tenant;

(p) an improvement designed, constructed or installed to provide emergency protection for persons or domestic animals in the event of a disaster or emergency within the meaning of the Emergency Program Act;

(q) sewage treatment plants, manure storage facilities, effluent reservoirs, effluent lagoons, deodorizing equipment, dust and particulate matter eliminating equipment;

(r) a floating dry dock, other than the onshore facilities of the floating dry dock, if the floating dry dock has a lift capacity greater than 20 000 tonnes.

(2) Septic disposal systems are not exempt from taxation under subsection (1) (q).

(3) An exemption under subsection (1) (b) to (p) does not include exemption from a fee.

(4) An exemption under subsection (1) (b), (d), (g), (h), (i) or (l) extends only to taxation under section 197 (1) (a) [municipal property taxes].

Grandparented pollution abatement exemptions

221  (1) In this section:

"final determination under the Assessment Act" means a determination on the assessment roll for a taxation year, subject to any change that is finally determined under the Assessment Act by revised assessment roll, by supplementary assessment roll or on further appeal;

"pollution abatement provision" means section 339 (1) (q) of the Local Government Act, section 15 (1) (s) of the Taxation (Rural Area) Act or section 396 (1) (e.01) of the Vancouver Charter, as those provisions read before their repeal and replacement by the Budget Measures Implementation Act, 1997.

(2) Land and improvements that were exempt for the 1996 taxation year under a pollution abatement provision are exempt to the extent established by subsection (3), if

(a) the land and improvements were exempt under that provision for the 1996 taxation year on final determination under the Assessment Act, and

(b) as applicable,

(i)   for an exemption in relation to land only, the land continues to be exclusively or primarily used for the purpose of abating pollution,

(ii)   for an exemption in relation to improvements only, the improvements continue to be exclusively or primarily used for the purpose of abating pollution, or

(iii)   for an exemption in relation to land and improvements, the land and improvements continue to be exclusively or primarily used for the purpose of abating pollution.

(3) The amount of an exemption under subsection (2) for a taxation year is limited to the portion of the assessed value of land and improvements that is the least of the following:

(a) the portion that the British Columbia Assessment Authority determines is attributable to the use of pollution abatement for that taxation year, subject to final determination under the Assessment Act;

(b) the portion that was exempt for pollution abatement purposes for the immediately preceding taxation year on final determination under the Assessment Act;

(c) the portion that was exempt for the 1996 taxation year on final determination under the Assessment Act.

Grandparented dust and particulate matter eliminator exemptions

221.1  (1) In this section:

"final determination under the Assessment Act" means a determination on the assessment roll for a taxation year, subject to any change that is finally determined under the Assessment Act by revised assessment roll, by supplementary assessment roll or on further appeal;

"new exemption provision" means the aspect of section 339 (1) (p) of the Local Government Act, as that provision read after its repeal and replacement by the Budget Measures Implementation Act, 2003, that referred to "dust and particulate matter eliminating equipment" and that is continued by section 220 (1) (q) of this Act;

"previous exemption provision" means the aspect of section 339 (1) (p) of the Local Government Act, as that provision read before its repeal and replacement by the Budget Measures Implementation Act, 2003, that referred to "dust and particulate matter eliminators".

(2) Subject to subsection (3), a dust and particulate matter eliminator is exempt from taxation if the eliminator

(a) was, on final determination under the Assessment Act, exempt for the 2003 taxation year under the previous exemption provision,

(b) was not exempt for the 2004 taxation year under the new exemption provision because it was not dust and particulate matter eliminating equipment, and

(c) continues to be a dust and particulate matter eliminator.

(3) The exemption under subsection (2) does not apply to any increase in assessed value that is attributable to changes to or replacement of the dust and particulate matter eliminator.

Phased farm property tax exemption

222  (1) This section applies to real property

(a) that is in a newly incorporated municipality, or in an area newly included in a municipality, and

(b) that was, immediately before the incorporation or inclusion, exempt from taxation because of section 15 (1) (f) or (f.1) of the Taxation (Rural Area) Act but that, after the incorporation or inclusion, is not exempt from taxation under this Act.

(2) Real property referred to in subsection (1) is exempt from taxation for the first 5 years after incorporation or inclusion, to the indicated percentage of the exemption that would have applied had the incorporation or inclusion not taken place, as follows:

  year after incorporation     % of exemption that would have applied 
1st 100%
2nd 80%
3rd 60%
4th 40%
5th 20%

Exemptions under regulations

223  (1) In addition to the provisions of any other Act, the Lieutenant Governor in Council may make regulations prescribing exemptions from property taxes under any Act in respect of one or more of the following:

(a) prescribed industrial land or industrial improvements, or both;

(a.1) prescribed business land or business improvements, or both;

(b) prescribed improvements at prescribed community airports;

(c) prescribed land or improvements at prescribed community ports.

(2) Without limiting section 283 [variation authority], regulations under subsection (1) may be different for different community airports and different community ports.

(3) An exemption under subsection (1) (b) or (c) applies to an airport or port only for a taxation year in which it is operated as a community airport or community port, as applicable.

Division 7 — Permissive Exemptions

General authority for permissive exemptions

224  (1) A council may, by bylaw in accordance with this section, exempt land or improvements, or both, referred to in subsection (2) from taxation under section 197 (1) (a) [municipal property taxes], to the extent, for the period and subject to the conditions provided in the bylaw.

(2) Tax exemptions may be provided under this section for the following:

(a) land or improvements that

(i)   are owned or held by a charitable, philanthropic or other not for profit corporation, and

(ii)   the council considers are used for a purpose that is directly related to the purposes of the corporation;

(b) land or improvements that

(i)   are owned or held by a municipality, regional district or other local authority, and

(ii)   the council considers are used for a purpose of the local authority;

(c) land or improvements that the council considers would otherwise qualify for exemption under section 220 [general statutory exemptions] were it not for a secondary use;

(d) the interest of a public authority, local authority or any other corporation or organization in land or improvements that are used or occupied by the corporation or organization if

(i)   the land or improvements are owned by a public authority or local authority, and

(ii)   the land or improvements are used by the corporation or organization for a purpose in relation to which an exemption under this Division or Division 6 of this Part would apply or could be provided if the land or improvements were owned by that corporation or organization;

(e) the interest of a public authority, local authority or any other corporation or organization in land or improvements that are used or occupied by the corporation or organization if

(i)   the land or improvements are owned by a person who is providing a municipal service under a partnering agreement,

(ii)   an exemption under section 225 [partnering and other special tax exemption authority] would be available for the land or improvements in relation to the partnering agreement if they were used in relation to the service,

(iii)   the partnering agreement expressly contemplates that the council may provide an exemption under this provision, and

(iv)   the land or improvements are used by the corporation or organization for a purpose in relation to which an exemption under this Division or Division 6 of this Part would apply or could be provided if the land or improvements were owned by that corporation or organization;

(f) in relation to property that is exempt under section 220 (1) (h) [buildings for public worship],

(i)   an area of land surrounding the exempt building,

(ii)   a hall that the council considers is necessary to the exempt building and the land on which the hall stands, and

(iii)   an area of land surrounding a hall that is exempt under subparagraph (ii);

(g) land or improvements used or occupied by a religious organization, as tenant or licensee, for the purpose of public worship or for the purposes of a hall that the council considers is necessary to land or improvements so used or occupied;

(h) in relation to property that is exempt under section 220 (1) (i) [seniors' homes], (j) [hospitals] or (l) [private schools], any area of land surrounding the exempt building;

(i) land or improvements owned or held by an athletic or service club or association and used as a public park or recreation ground or for public athletic or recreational purposes;

(j) land or improvements owned or held by a person or organization and operated as a private hospital licensed under the Hospital Act or as a licensed community care facility, or registered assisted living residence, under the Community Care and Assisted Living Act;

(k) land or improvements for which a grant has been made, after March 31, 1974, under the Housing Construction (Elderly Citizens) Act before its repeal.

(3) The authority under subsection (2) (e) and (g) to (j) is not subject to section 25 (1) [prohibition against assistance to business].

(4) Subject to subsection (5), a bylaw under this section

(a) must establish the term of the exemption, which may not be longer than 10 years,

(b) may only be adopted after notice of the proposed bylaw has been given in accordance with section 227 [notice of permissive tax exemptions], and

(c) does not apply to taxation in a calendar year unless it comes into force on or before October 31 in the preceding year.

(5) Subsection (4) (a) and (b) does not apply in relation to exemptions under subsection (2) (f) and (h).

(6) If only a portion of a parcel of land is exempt under this section, the bylaw under this section must include a description of the land that is satisfactory to the British Columbia Assessment Authority.

(7) A bylaw under this section ceases to apply to property, the use or ownership of which no longer conforms to the conditions necessary to qualify for exemption and, after this, the property is liable to taxation.

Partnering, heritage, riparian and other special exemption authority

225  (1) In this section:

"eligible property" means property that is eligible under subsection (2);

"exemption agreement" means an agreement under subsection (5).

(2) The following property is eligible for a tax exemption under this section:

(a) eligible partnering property, being property that

(i)   is owned by a person or public authority providing a municipal service under a partnering agreement, and

(ii)   the council considers will be used in relation to the service being provided under the partnering agreement;

(b) eligible heritage property, being property that is

(i)   protected heritage property,

(ii)   subject to a heritage revitalization agreement under section 966 of the Local Government Act,

(iii)   subject to a covenant under section 219 of the Land Title Act that relates to the conservation of heritage property, or

(iv)   if property referred to in subparagraphs (i) to (iii) is a building or other improvement so affixed to the land as to constitute real property, an area of land surrounding that improvement;

(c) eligible riparian property, being property that

(i)   is riparian land,

(ii)   is subject to a covenant under section 219 of the Land Title Act that

(A)  relates to the protection of the property as riparian property, and

(B)  has the municipality granting the exemption under this section as a covenantee in whose favour the covenant is made, and

(iii)   meets any other requirements prescribed by regulation;

(d) eligible cemetery property, being land held for cemetery, mausoleum or columbarium purposes;

(e) eligible golf course property, being land maintained as a golf course.

(3) A council may, by bylaw, exempt eligible property from taxation under section 197 (1) (a) [municipal property taxes] to the extent provided in the bylaw and subject to the conditions established by exemption agreement.

(4) The authority under subsection (3) is not subject to section 25 (1) [prohibition against assistance to business].

(5) For the purposes of this section, the council may enter into an agreement with the owner of property that is exempt or is to be exempt under this section, respecting the extent of the exemption and the conditions on which it is made.

(6) Without limiting subsection (5), an exemption agreement may do one or more of the following:

(a) require the eligible property to be subject to a covenant under section 219 of the Land Title Act in favour of the municipality;

(b) provide that the exemption is subject to specified conditions;

(c) provide that, if

(i)   a condition is not met,

(ii)   a required covenant under section 219 of the Land Title Act is discharged, or

(iii)   any other circumstances specified in the agreement occur,

the property owner must pay to the municipality an amount determined in accordance with the agreement.

(7) A bylaw under this section

(a) must establish the term of the exemption,

(b) may only be adopted after notice of the proposed bylaw has been given in accordance with section 227 [notice of permissive tax exemptions],

(c) may only be adopted by an affirmative vote of at least 2/3 of all council members, and

(d) does not apply to taxation in a calendar year unless it comes into force on or before October 31 in the preceding year.

(8) An exemption under this section ceases to apply to property, the use or ownership of which no longer conforms to the conditions necessary to qualify for exemption and, after this, the property is liable to taxation.

Revitalization tax exemptions

226  (1) In this section:

"exemption agreement" means an agreement under subsection (7);

"exemption certificate" means a revitalization tax exemption certificate issued under subsection (8);

"revitalization program bylaw" means a bylaw under subsection (4).

(2) A council may, for the purpose of encouraging revitalization in the municipality, provide tax exemptions for land or improvements, or both, in accordance with this section.

(3) For a revitalization tax exemption under this section to apply to a particular property,

(a) the exemption must be in accordance with a revitalization program bylaw under subsection (4),

(b) an exemption agreement under subsection (7) must apply to the property, and

(c) an exemption certificate for the property must have been issued under subsection (8).

(4) A revitalization tax exemption program must be established by a bylaw that includes the following:

(a) a description of the reasons for and the objectives of the program;

(b) a description of how the program is intended to accomplish the objectives;

(c) a description of the kinds of property, or related activities or circumstances, that will be eligible for tax exemptions under the program;

(d) the extent of the tax exemptions available;

(e) the amounts of tax exemptions that may be provided under the bylaw, by specifying amounts or by establishing formulas by which the amounts are to be determined, or both;

(f) the maximum term of a tax exemption that may be provided under the bylaw, which may not be longer than 10 years.

(5) A revitalization program bylaw

(a) may include other provisions the council considers advisable respecting the program including, without limiting this,

(i)   the requirements that must be met before an exemption certificate may be issued,

(ii)   conditions that must be included in an exemption certificate, and

(iii)   provision for a recapture amount that must be paid by the owner of the property to the municipality if the conditions specified in the exemption certificate are not met, and

(b) may be different for

(i)   different areas of the municipality,

(ii)   different property classes under the Assessment Act,

(iii)   different classes of land or improvements, or both, as established by the bylaw,

(iv)   different activities and circumstances related to a property or its uses, as established by the bylaw, and

(v)   different uses as established by zoning bylaw.

(6) A revitalization program bylaw may be adopted only after

(a) notice of the proposed bylaw has been given in accordance with section 227 [notice of permissive tax exemptions], and

(b) the council has considered the bylaw in conjunction with the objectives and policies set out under section 165 (3.1) (c) [use of permissive tax exemptions] in its financial plan.

(7) The council may enter into an agreement with the owner of a property respecting

(a) the provision of a revitalization tax exemption under this section,

(b) any requirements that must be met before an exemption certificate is issued, and

(c) any conditions on which the tax exemption is to be provided.

(8) Once

(a) all requirements established in the revitalization program bylaw, and

(b) any additional requirements established in the exemption agreement

have been met, a revitalization tax exemption certificate must be issued for the property in accordance with the exemption agreement.

(9) An exemption certificate must specify the following in accordance with the revitalization program bylaw and the exemption agreement:

(a) the extent of the tax exemption;

(b) the amount of the tax exemption or the formula for determining the exemption;

(c) the term of the tax exemption;

(d) if applicable, the conditions on which the tax exemption is provided;

(e) if applicable, that a recapture amount is payable if the exemption certificate is cancelled, and how that amount is to be determined.

(10) So long as an exemption certificate has not been cancelled, the land or improvements, or both, subject to the exemption certificate are exempt from taxation under section 197 (1) (a) [municipal property taxes] as provided in the exemption certificate.

(11) An exemption certificate may be cancelled by the council

(a) on the request of the property owner, or

(b) if any of the conditions specified in the exemption certificate are not met.

(12) An exemption certificate or cancellation does not apply to taxation in a calendar year unless the exemption certificate is issued or cancelled, as applicable, on or before October 31 in the preceding year.

(13) The designated municipal officer must

(a) provide a copy of an exemption certificate to the relevant assessor as soon as practicable after it is issued, and

(b) if applicable, notify that assessor as soon as practicable after an exemption certificate is cancelled.

(14) The authority to provide a tax exemption under this section is not subject to section 25 (1) [prohibition against assistance to business].

Notice of permissive tax exemptions

227  (1) A council must give notice of a proposed bylaw under this Division in accordance with section 94 [public notice].

(2) Subject to subsection (3), the notice under subsection (1) must

(a) identify the property that would be subject to the bylaw,

(b) describe the proposed exemption,

(c) state the number of years that the exemption may be provided, and

(d) provide an estimate of the amount of taxes that would be imposed on the property if it were not exempt, for the year in which the proposed bylaw is to take effect and the following 2 years.

(3) In the case of a bylaw under section 226 (4) [revitalization program bylaw], the notice under subsection (1) of this section must include a general description of each of the following:

(a) the reasons for and the objectives of the program;

(b) how the proposed program is intended to accomplish the objectives;

(c) the kinds of property, or related activities or circumstances, that will be eligible for a tax exemption under the program;

(d) the extent, amounts and maximum terms of the tax exemptions that may be provided under the program.

Division 8 — Tax Liability of Occupiers

Taxation of Crown land used by others

228  (1) Subject to this section, land and its improvements are liable to taxation if the land is

(a) owned in fee simple by the Crown or some person or organization on behalf of the Crown, and

(b) held or occupied other than by or on behalf of the Crown.

(2) This section does not make the following liable to taxation:

(a) land or improvements otherwise exempt under section 220 (1) (b) to (m) [general statutory exemptions];

(b) land and improvements that are exempt under Division 7 [Permissive Exemptions] of this Part;

(c) a highway occupied by

(i)   a gas, electric light, telephone, telegraph, power, pipeline, water, motor bus, electric trolley bus, radio or television broadcasting or closed circuit television company, or

(ii)   a company that, in addition to any other function, provides a service similar in nature to a service referred to in subparagraph (i).

(3) Except as provided under the Veterans' Land Act (Canada) and subsection (4), the taxes imposed on land and improvements referred to in subsection (1)

(a) are a liability only of the holder or occupier, recoverable in the manner set out in this Act, and

(b) are not a lien or charge on the land and improvements that are not liable to tax sale.

(4) In the case of land disposed of by the Provincial government for which the Crown grant has not been registered,

(a) the land, together with its improvements, is liable to tax sale,

(b) the taxes imposed are a lien and charge on the land and its improvements, and

(c) the provisions of this Act and the Local Government Act for assessment, taxation, recovery of taxes and tax sales apply for the purposes of this subsection.

(5) If a supplementary assessment roll has been prepared under the Assessment Act for land held or occupied in the manner referred to in subsection (1),

(a) the holder or occupier is liable to real property tax in the calendar year in which the holding or occupancy began for the portion of the calendar year the land was held or occupied, and

(b) section 241 [taxation based on supplementary roll] applies for the purposes of this subsection.

(6) This section also applies to

(a) improvements owned, held or occupied by or leased to, a person other than the Crown, located on land the fee of which is vested in the Crown or in some other person or organization on behalf of the Crown, and

(b) land held in trust for a band of Indians and occupied, other than in an official capacity, by a person who is not an Indian.

Taxation of municipal land used by others

229  If the fee simple of land is vested in a municipality, but the land is held or occupied other than by or on behalf of the municipality, the rules for taxation of Crown land used by others, as set out in section 228 (1), (2), (3) and (6) (a), apply to the land and its improvements and make them liable for taxation.

Taxation of occupier of exempt land

230  An occupier of land in the municipality assessed under section 27 of the Assessment Act is subject to taxation in the same manner as an occupier of land taxed under section 229.

Division 9 — General Revenue Collection Authority

Recovery of taxes and fees

231  (1) Taxes and fees owed to a municipality, together with any applicable interest or penalties, are a debt due to the municipality recoverable in any court of competent jurisdiction.

(2) In addition to recovery under subsection (1), amounts referred to in that subsection may be recovered by any other method authorized under this or another Act and, unless otherwise provided, the use of one method does not prevent seeking recovery by one or more other methods.

Collection agreements with other taxing authorities

232  (1) A council may, by bylaw, enter into an agreement with any other authority having taxing powers in respect of land, or land and improvements, located in the municipality respecting the exercise of the powers of the municipality and of the other authority in relation to the collection of taxes, recovery of unpaid taxes and related matters.

(2) An agreement under subsection (1) may provide that a party to the agreement may exercise a power of another party to the agreement in relation to matters referred to in that subsection.

Division 10 — Property Tax Due Dates and Tax Notices

Definition and application of section 160

232.1  (1) In this Division and Division 12 [Payment of Taxes] of this Part, "electronic transmission" means

(a) the transmission of a record by electronic means, or

(b) the provision of access to a record by electronic means.

(2) Section 160 [notice by municipality: obligation satisfied if reasonable effort made] applies, in respect of electronic transmission, to this Division and Division 12 of this Part.

Options for tax due dates

233  Property taxes are due as follows:

(a) if the municipality has not established an alternative scheme, in accordance with the general tax collection scheme under section 234;

(b) if the municipality has established an alternative scheme under section 235, in accordance with the election of the owner under section 236.

General tax collection scheme

234  (1) If this section applies, property taxes for a year are due on July 2 of the year.

(2) The Lieutenant Governor in Council may make regulations establishing penalties and interest that must be applied by municipalities in relation to payments made after the tax due date under subsection (1).

Alternative municipal tax collection scheme

235  (1) A council may, by bylaw, establish one or more dates on which all or part of the property taxes under this Part are due.

(2) A bylaw under subsection (1) must establish an annual period during which owners may make elections under section 236 [owner may elect which scheme to use].

(3) A bylaw under subsection (1) may do one or more of the following:

(a) establish procedures for determining the amount of taxes due on each of the due dates;

(b) provide for

(i)   estimating, before the adoption of the annual property tax bylaw, the amount of taxes payable in the year, and

(ii)   making adjustments to payments due after the adoption of that bylaw in order to take into account variations between the estimated and actual taxes payable;

(c) establish discounts to be applied in relation to payments made before a tax due date established by the bylaw;

(d) establish penalties and interest to be applied in relation to payments made after a tax due date established by the bylaw;

(e) set terms, conditions and procedures in relation to payments, which may be different for different classes of owners as established by the bylaw.

(4) As a limitation on subsection (3) (a), there must not be more than 12 months between the first and last due dates for annual taxes for any year.

Owner may elect which scheme to use

236  (1) If an alternative municipal tax collection scheme is established under section 235, the applicable scheme is determined in accordance with the following:

(a) if an owner has elected in accordance with subsection (2) to pay under the municipal scheme, that scheme applies;

(b) if an owner has elected in accordance with subsection (2) to pay under the general tax collection scheme, that scheme applies;

(c) if paragraph (a) or (b) does not apply and the municipal tax collection scheme

(i)   has not established due dates that are before July 2,

(ii)   has not established any interest, or has established interest that does not exceed the interest for the general tax collection scheme prescribed under section 234 (2), and

(iii)   has not established any penalty, or has established penalties that do not exceed the penalties for the general tax collection scheme prescribed under section 234 (2),

the municipal tax collection scheme applies;

(d) if no other paragraph applies, the general tax collection scheme applies.

(2) An owner may make an election, or change an election, referred to in subsection (1) (a) or (b) by giving written notice of the election to the municipality within the period established under section 235 (2) [alternative municipal tax collection scheme].

(3) If the land title registration of a property indicates that there is more than one registered owner of the property, a person giving notice under subsection (2) may only do so with the written consent of the number of those persons who, together with the person giving notice, are a majority of the registered owners.

(4) As a limit on subsection (2), after an election or change has been made under this section, no further change in election may be made for the same year.

(5) Once an election or change has been made under this section, the owner is liable to make payments in accordance with the applicable scheme until the owner has made a subsequent change in election under this section.

General tax notices

237  (1) Each year a municipality must deliver a tax notice in accordance with this section to each owner of property subject to tax under this Act.

(2) A tax notice must include the following:

(a) a short description of the property;

(b) the taxes imposed under this Act for the current year, separately stated for

(i)   property value taxes imposed under section 197 (1) (a) [municipal property taxes],

(ii)   each property value tax imposed under section 197 (1) (b) [property taxes for other bodies],

(iii)   each property value tax collected by the municipality on behalf of another local government or other public body on the basis of tax rates imposed by the other body, and

(iv)   each parcel tax imposed under Division 4 [Parcel Taxes] of this Part;

(c) other taxes or fees that are payable in relation to the property;

(d) any credit or abatement authorized by this or another Act;

(e) when the penalties under this Division will be added if taxes are not paid;

(f) other information that may be prescribed by regulation.

(3) A municipality must include with the tax notice an application for a grant under the Home Owner Grant Act.

(4) A tax notice under this section must also be delivered to each holder of a registered charge in relation to the property whose name is included on the assessment roll.

(5) For the purposes of this section, the tax notice must be delivered to an owner or a holder of a registered charge

(a) by mail at the address on the assessment roll, or

(b) by electronic transmission, if the owner or the holder of a registered charge provides authorization under subsection (5.1), using the email address provided under subsection (5.2).

(5.1) An owner or a holder of a registered charge who is entitled to a tax notice under this section may,

(a) if the municipality provides for electronic transmission, authorize, in writing, a municipality to electronically transmit a tax notice under this section and any statement under section 248 [statement of outstanding taxes] to the owner or the holder of a registered charge, as applicable, and

(b) at any time, withdraw, in writing, the authorization made under paragraph (a)

(5.2) If a person provides an authorization under subsection (5.1), the person must provide to the municipality an email address for the purposes of electronic transmission.

(6) If a number of parcels are assessed in the name of the same owner,

(a) any number of those parcels may be included in one tax notice, and

(b) if several of the parcels are assessed at the same value, the tax notice is sufficient if it clearly identifies the property assessed and taxed as a block, parts of a block or a series of lots, without the full description for each parcel.

Persons may request copies of tax notices

238  (1) The collector must deliver

(a) by mail, or

(b) by electronic transmission, if authorized under subsection (2) (c),

a copy of a tax notice under section 237 [general tax notices] and a copy of any statement under section 248 [statement of outstanding taxes] to all persons who have requested a copy in accordance with subsection (2) during the current year.

(2) For the purposes of this section, a person

(a) must make a written request to the municipality,

(b) must include in the request a description, sufficient to allow the property to be identified, of the property for which the tax notice or statement is requested, and

(c) may, if the municipality provides for electronic transmission, include in the request an authorization for the municipality to electronically transmit the tax notice or statement.

(3) If a person includes an authorization under subsection (2) (c), the person must provide to the municipality an email address for the purposes of electronic transmission.

Division 11 — Adjustments to Taxes

Interest on overpayment of taxes

239  (1) If a person is refunded an amount of taxes paid under this Act, the municipality must pay the person interest at the rate prescribed under subsection (2).

(2) The Lieutenant Governor in Council may prescribe a rate of interest for the purposes of this section.

Adjustments for assessment changes

240  (1) If an assessment is set aside or varied after the annual property tax bylaw is adopted, the collector must make the necessary adjustments to the taxes imposed on the affected property.

(2) The amount of any tax as amended under this section is the amount of taxes imposed for the current year on the property affected and, despite the terms of a receipt given by the collector, any excess paid must be refunded and any balance unpaid is tax due and payable.

Taxation based on supplementary roll

241  (1) If taxes are to be imposed on the basis of a supplementary roll under the Assessment Act, 30 days' notice must be given for payment of those taxes and a penalty must not be added in that period.

(2) If an assessment on a supplementary roll is set aside or the assessed value reduced under the Assessment Act, the collector must refund to an owner the excess amount of taxes, and any penalty and interest on that excess, paid by the owner, less any taxes in arrear or delinquent taxes the person owes to the municipality.

Apportionment of property value taxes if land subdivided

242  (1) If a plan of subdivision is deposited in the land title office after November 30 in any year and before June 1 in the next year, the collector may

(a) apportion the property value taxes payable in that next year between the parcels created by the subdivision in the same proportions as taxes would have been payable in respect of the parcels had the subdivision occurred on or before November 30 in the first year, and

(b) on making an apportionment under paragraph (a), record the apportionment in the manner that the collector considers necessary.

(2) Taxes apportioned to a parcel under subsection (1) are the taxes payable in respect of the parcel in the year for which they are apportioned.

(3) The assessor for the area in which the land is located must provide the collector with the assessed values necessary to calculate the proportions of taxes referred to in subsection (1).

Apportionment of parcel taxes if land subdivided

243  (1) If a parcel of land subject to tax under Division 4 [Parcel Taxes] of this Part is subdivided, the collector must apportion the parcel taxes payable between the parcels created by the subdivision in the same proportions as taxes would have been payable in respect of the parcels had the subdivision occurred before the parcel tax roll was authenticated.

(2) Taxes apportioned to a parcel under subsection (1) are the taxes payable in respect of the parcel.

(3) An apportionment or reapportionment of a parcel tax under this section does not

(a) require authorization or confirmation by bylaw or by a parcel tax roll review panel,

(b) operate as a new parcel tax assessment, or

(c) in any way invalidate, reopen or affect the parcel tax roll other than for the land in respect of which the apportionment or reapportionment has been made.

Division 12 — Payment of Taxes

Application of tax payments

244  (1) Payments for taxes must be credited by the collector against the following in the indicated order:

(a) delinquent taxes, including interest, from past years;

(b) taxes in arrear, including interest, from the preceding year;

(c) a penalty added in the current year;

(d) taxes imposed under the School Act for the current year;

(d.1) taxes imposed under the Police Act for the current year;

(e) taxes under Division 5 [Local Service Taxes] of this Part in the current year;

(f) any unpaid municipal taxes for the current year.

(2) Acceptance of a payment on account of taxes does not affect the liability of a person for full payment or of the land or improvements to be sold for the amount of taxes unpaid.

Taxes in arrear

245  (1) The taxes for the current year on land or improvements, or both, together with any applicable penalties, that are unpaid on December 31 in the year imposed

(a) are taxes in arrear on that date, and

(b) bear interest from that date at a rate prescribed by the Lieutenant Governor in Council under section 11 (3) of the Taxation (Rural Area) Act.

(2) Taxes

(a) imposed by a municipality under section 197 (1) (b) [property taxes for other bodies], or

(b) collected by the municipality on behalf of another local government or other public body on the basis of tax rates imposed by the other body

that are unpaid on December 31 in the year imposed, together with any applicable penalties, become municipal taxes in arrear under subsection (1) on that date.

(3) The interest under subsection (1) (b) is part of the taxes in arrear, and the total amount of the taxes in arrear is a charge on the land or improvements, or both, as if the penalties and interest had originally formed part of the taxes imposed.

Delinquent taxes

246  (1) Any taxes in arrear remaining unpaid on December 31 in the year following the year in which they became taxes in arrear

(a) are delinquent on that date, and

(b) bear interest from that date at a rate prescribed by the Lieutenant Governor in Council under section 11 (3) of the Taxation (Rural Area) Act until paid or recovered.

(2) The added interest under subsection (1) (b) is part of the delinquent taxes and is a charge as in section 245 (3) [taxes in arrear].

Treatment of outstanding taxes on subdivision or cancellation of subdivision

247  (1) If a parcel of land appears on the assessment roll to have been subdivided, the collector must apportion taxes in arrear and delinquent taxes in the same proportion as the assessment for each new parcel bears to the total assessment.

(2) The assessor for the area in which the land is located must provide the collector with the assessment apportionment required for the purpose of subsection (1).

(3) Subsections (1) and (2) also apply if part of a parcel on which taxes are due has been sold and the transfer has been delivered to the purchaser.

(4) If a plan of subdivision has been cancelled, the amount of any taxes in arrear or delinquent taxes against a parcel in the plan or subdivision cancelled are taxes in arrear or delinquent taxes against the parcel of land as it appears after cancellation.

Statement of outstanding taxes

248  (1) No later than the date on which the tax notice under section 237 [general tax notices] is delivered, the collector must, in accordance with this section, deliver a statement of the amount of the taxes in arrear and of delinquent taxes to each assessed owner of

(a) property for which there are taxes in arrear or delinquent taxes, or

(b) property sold by tax sale under the Local Government Act, but remaining subject to redemption under section 417 [redemption by owner] of that Act.

(2) A statement under subsection (1) must also be delivered to each holder of a registered charge in relation to the property whose name is included on the assessment roll.

(3) If applicable, the statement under subsection (1) must be in the form prescribed by regulation.

(4) For the purposes of this section, a statement under this section must be delivered to an owner or a holder of a registered charge

(a) by mail at the address on the assessment roll, or

(b) by electronic transmission, if the owner or the holder of a registered charge provides authorization under section 237 (5.1), using the email address provided under section 237 (5.2).

Certificate of outstanding taxes

249  (1) On demand and without charge, the collector must give the owner of real property whichever of the following is applicable to the property:

(a) a written statement showing the amount of all unpaid taxes;

(b) a certificate that all taxes and fees imposed against the real property identified in the certificate have been fully paid.

(2) The collector must provide, to any person who requests this, a certificate showing

(a) the amount of unpaid taxes charged against specified real property,

(b) whether the real property has been sold for taxes, and

(c) if the property has been sold for taxes, the time if any remaining for redemption and the amount required to redeem it.

(3) An error in a statement or certificate given under this section does not subject the municipality to damages.

Division 13 — Recovery of Taxes

Taxes are a special charge on the land

250  (1) Taxes accrued and to accrue on land and its improvements, and a judgment under section 231 [recovery of taxes and fees] for the taxes, are a charge that

(a) is a special charge on the land and improvements,

(b) has priority over any claim, lien, privilege or encumbrance of any person except the Crown, and

(c) does not require registration to preserve it.

(2) If it is necessary or advisable to protect or enforce a charge under subsection (1) by a proceeding, this may be done by order of the court, on application and on notice the court considers appropriate.

Liability of assessed owner

251  (1) A person who, in any year, is an assessed owner of land, improvements or both in a municipality, or of a taxable interest in them, is liable to the municipality for

(a) all taxes imposed by the municipality under any Act or former Act on the land, improvements or both during the year, and

(b) all unpaid taxes imposed in a previous year.

(2) The liability referred to in subsection (1) is a debt owed to the municipality, and a copy of the tax notice under section 237 [general tax notices] that refers to the taxes payable by the person, certified as a true copy by the corporate officer, is evidence of that debt.

(3) The liability referred to in subsection (1) must not be enforced by action against a person whose name appears on an assessment roll only as a personal representative or trustee of an estate, except to the extent and value of the assets of the estate that have come into that person's hands.

Recovery of taxes by the legal remedy of distress

252  (1) Despite any Act, with the approval of the council, a collector may, directly or by agent, levy the amount of taxes due, with costs, by distress of one or more of the following:

(a) the output of the taxed property;

(b) goods and chattels of the person liable to pay the taxes;

(c) any goods and chattels in British Columbia in the possession of the person liable to pay the taxes;

(d) any goods and chattels found on the premises of the person liable to pay the taxes;

(e) any goods and chattels found on the property of or in the possession of another occupant of the premises of the person liable to pay the taxes that would be subject to distress for arrears of rent due to a landlord.

(2) Subject to subsection (3), the costs chargeable on distress under this section are those payable as between landlord and tenant.

(3) A council may, by bylaw, regulate and alter the scale of costs payable in cases of distress under this section.

(4) A collector who makes distress must give notice in accordance with section 94 [public notice] of

(a) the time and place of the sale, and

(b) the name of the taxpayer whose property is to be sold.

(5) At the time given in the notice under subsection (4), the collector or agent must sell at public auction the seized property or as much as may be necessary.

(6) If there is a surplus from the sale over the amount of the taxes and costs, the surplus must be paid to the person in possession of the property when it was seized, unless claim to it is made by another person on the ground that the property sold belonged to the other person, or that the other person was entitled by lien or other right to the surplus.

(7) If a claim is made by the person for whose taxes the property was distrained and the claim is admitted, the surplus must be paid to the claimant.

(8) If the claim referred to in subsection (7) is contested, the surplus must be retained by the collector until the rights of the parties have been determined.

(9) A person receiving a surplus under this section must give a receipt for it.

Power to accept real property in place of taxes

253  (1) A council may, by bylaw, accept, in place of all unpaid taxes, rates, interest and costs against otherwise unencumbered real property in the municipality, an absolute conveyance to the municipality of the whole of the real property from its registered owner.

(2) Delivery of the conveyance must be made to the municipality and, after receipt, the designated municipal officer must promptly apply to the proper land title office for registration of the municipality as owner.

(3) Registration of the municipality as owner of the land or real property is deemed to be in payment of and discharges all taxes, rates, interest and costs assessed and chargeable against the land or real property at the date of the conveyance.

Tax sales

254  If applicable, a municipality must recover unpaid property taxes, including any interest and penalties owing on those taxes, by tax sale in accordance with Part 11 [Tax Collection] of the Local Government Act.

Notice of delinquent taxes on Crown land

255  If taxes become delinquent on land that the Provincial government has agreed to sell under an agreement to purchase,

(a) the collector must notify the minister responsible for the administration of the Land Act within 3 months after taxes with respect to the person holding the land became delinquent, and

(b) that minister must cause a suitable notation to be made on the record of purchase and may take any other steps considered advisable.

Recovery of taxes on Crown land subject to an agreement for sale

256  (1) This section applies if the Provincial government has agreed to sell land in a municipality on terms of deferred payment and the holder of the agreement for sale

(a) has defaulted in payment for the land, or has abandoned the land with the title remaining in the Provincial government, and

(b) has defaulted in payment of municipal taxes against the land.

(2) The municipal taxes referred to in subsection (1) (b) are a first charge against the land and, following the sale of the land, the Provincial government must pay the municipal taxes out of the proceeds of the sale, subject to the limit that the amount paid must not exceed the amount received by the Provincial government for the sale.

Recovery of taxes on Crown land held under lease or licence

257  (1) The collector must not sell land the fee simple of which is vested in the Provincial government and which is held under lease, licence, permit or location.

(2) Within 5 months from the date when taxes on land referred to in subsection (1) become delinquent, the collector must give written notice to the person liable for them, either by serving the notice or by sending it by registered mail, that the lease, licence, permit or location will be cancelled if the person does not pay the delinquent taxes, together with interest and all subsequent taxes, within 6 months from the date when the taxes became delinquent.

(3) The collector must send a copy of the notice under subsection (2) to the minister responsible for the administration of the Land Act.

(4) If payment of the delinquent taxes, with interest, and all subsequent taxes is not made within the 6 months,

(a) the collector must forward to the minister referred to in subsection (3) a list of defaulting lessees, licensees, permittees or locators, and

(b) that minister must at once cancel the leases, licences, permits or locations.

(5) Until the minister referred to in subsection (3) notifies the collector of cancellation under subsection (4), the collector must not cancel an amount due.

(6) On cancellation of a lease, licence, permit or location, the minister referred to in subsection (3) must notify the collector, who must then cancel the amount due.

(7) If good reasons are shown to the satisfaction of the minister referred to in subsection (3) that the defaulting person, from poverty, sickness or other cause, has been unable to pay the amount due within the time limit, the minister may extend the time within which payment must be made before cancellation takes effect.

Division 14 — Recovery of Special Fees

Special fees may be collected as property taxes

258  (1) This section applies to the following:

(a) fees imposed, under this Act or the Local Government Act, for work done or services provided to land or improvements;

(b) fees imposed under section 196 (1) (a) [fire and security alarms systems];

(c) amounts that a municipality is entitled to recover for work done or services provided to land or improvements under any other provision of this Act or the Local Government Act that authorizes the municipality to recover amounts in the event of default by a person.

(2) An amount referred to in subsection (1)

(a) may be collected in the same manner and with the same remedies as property taxes, and

(b) if it is due and payable by December 31 and unpaid on that date, is deemed to be taxes in arrear.

(3) If an amount referred to in subsection (2) (b) is a fee referred to in section 194 (2) (a) [municipal fees for services outside the municipality],

(a) the collector must promptly, after December 31, forward a statement showing the amount of the fee

(i)   to the Surveyor of Taxes in the case of real property that is not in a municipality, or

(ii)   to the applicable municipal collector in other cases, and

(b) the Surveyor of Taxes or collector must add the amount of the fee to the taxes payable on the property.

(4) If an amount is added under subsection (3) (b),

(a) the amount is deemed to be a municipal tax or Provincial tax, as applicable, and must be dealt with in the same manner as taxes against the property would be under this Act, the Local Government Act or the Taxation (Rural Area) Act, and

(b) when it is collected, the collecting municipality or Minister of Finance must pay the amount to the municipality to which it is owed.

(5) If an amount is added under subsection (3) (b) and is not paid at the time the property is sold by tax sale,

(a) if the upset price is obtained at the time of the tax sale, the minister or municipality referred to in subsection (4) must pay out of the proceeds of the sale the amount due under this section to the municipality to which it is owed, or

(b) if the upset price is not obtained and subsequently the property is sold, the proceeds of sale must be applied according to the respective interests in the upset price.

Special fees that are liens against property

259  (1) This section applies to amounts that are referred to in section 258 (1) [special fees that may be collected as property taxes].

(2) An amount referred to in subsection (1)

(a) is a charge or lien on the land and its improvements in respect of which the charge is imposed, the work done or services provided,

(b) has priority over any claim, lien, privilege or encumbrance of any person except the Crown, and

(c) does not require registration to preserve it.

(3) An owner of land or real property aggrieved by the creation of a charge or lien under this section may, on 10 days' written notice to the municipality, apply to the Supreme Court for an order that the charge be removed or that the amount for which it was imposed be varied.

(4) On an application under subsection (3), if the court is satisfied that any of the amount for which the charge or lien was created was imposed improperly, it may order that the charge or lien be removed or that the amount be varied, or make another order it considers appropriate.

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