Arrears or Delinquent Taxes Due to Local Governments

Taxes in arrears are outstanding property taxes plus applicable penalties and interest, that are unpaid on December 31 in the year they were imposed. Delinquent taxes are any taxes in arrears remaining unpaid on December 31 in the year following the year in which they became taxes in arrears.

Overdue Property Taxes

Unpaid property taxes become taxes in arrears after December 31st of the current taxation year, and interest starts to accrue on the total unpaid amount. After one year, if still unpaid, these property taxes and accrued interest become delinquent after December 31st. A property with delinquent taxes is subject to tax sale if those taxes are unpaid by the statutory tax sale date which is the last Monday in September each year.

The following is an example time line using the general tax collection scheme:

  • Taxes are levied and billed in spring 2018 and the due date is July 3, 2018.
  • July 4, 2018 - A 10% penalty is applied to your unpaid account balance, including any unclaimed home owner grant.
  • January 1, 2019 - Taxes, penalties and interest accrued and still unpaid become taxes in arrears. Interest on the unpaid account starts accruing
  • January 1, 2020 - Taxes, penalties and interest accrued and still unpaid become delinquent taxes. Interest continues to accrue.
  • September 28, 2020 - If delinquent taxes are still unpaid, the property must be taken to tax sale on the last Monday in September.

Some municipalities elect, by bylaw, to use an alternative taxation scheme where they can vary the due dates and application of penalties and interest.

Interest on Arrears or Delinquent Taxes

Arrears and delinquent taxes bear interest at a rate prescribed by the Lieutenant Governor in Council under section 11(3)of the Taxation Rural Area Act until they paid or recovered. The interest is part of the taxes in arrears or delinquent taxes and the total amount of the taxes in areas and delinquent taxes is a charge on the land or improvements, or both, as if the penalties and interest had originally formed part of the taxes imposed.

The interest rates on taxes in arrears and delinquent taxes are calculated by adding three percent to the prime lending rate, as of the 15th of the month preceding the effective date, of the principal banker to the B.C. government. The Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce is considered to be the provincial government’s principal banker for interest rate reference purposes. The rates are also applicable to sections 655 and 660 of the Local Government Act and sections 245, 246 and 254 of the Community Charter. Current and historical interest rates are as follows:

Current & Historical Municipal & Improvement District Interest Rates
Effective Starting Effective Ending Interest Rate
July 1, 2019 September 30, 2019 6.95%
April 1, 2019 June 30, 2019 6.95%
January 1, 2019 March 31, 2019 6.95%
October 1, 2018 January 1, 2019 6.70%
July 1, 2018 September 30, 2019 6.45%
April 1, 2018 June 30, 2018 6.45%
January 1, 2018 March 31, 2018 6.20%
October 1, 2017 December 31, 2017 6.20%
July 1, 2017 September 30, 2017 5.70%
April 1, 2017 June 30, 2017 5.70%
January 1, 2017 April 30, 2017 5.70%
September 1, 2016 December 31, 2016 5.70%
May 1, 2016 August 31, 2016 5.70%
January 1, 2016 April 30, 2016 5.70%
September 1, 2015 December 31, 2015 5.70%
May 1, 2015 August 31, 2015 5.85%
January 1, 2015 April 30, 2015 6.00%
September 1, 2014 December 31, 2014 6.00%
May 1, 2014 December 31, 2014 6.00%
January 1, 2014 April 30, 2014 6.00%

Tax Sale of Properties with Delinquent Taxes

Properties with delinquent taxes are eligible for tax sale by public auction which is held the last Monday in September in each year. For more information on the tax sale process refer to Local Government Property Tax Sale.