Regional District Requisitions
Regional districts cannot directly tax properties. Instead, regional districts requisition their member municipalities and the Provincial Surveyor of Taxes (for rural electoral areas) to tax on behalf of the regional district in order to meet annual revenue needs.
A regional district may specify which method of property taxation, property value or parcel is used. However it is municipalities and the B.C. government that levy the taxes on behalf of a regional district.
Regional District Taxes
Regional districts are geographically large areas, often including multiple member municipalities and unincorporated rural areas (electoral areas), and they provide a wide-range of services. Each service is established by a separate bylaw, which sets out the purpose of the service (for example, water, sewer, parks, and recreation), its boundaries, and the maximum amount that may be requisitioned for that service.
Some regional district services cover large geographic areas encompassing multiple municipalities and electoral areas (for example, a regional solid waste management service). Other regional district services are very localized (for example, a small water distribution service in a remote rural area). It is not unusual for a single property to fall within a number of different service areas.
Regional districts must budget for each of these services separately. Regional districts must adopt their five-year financial plans (budget) by March 31 of each year. Included in the budget for each service is a line-item for tax revenue. As some large services will have multiple participants (municipalities and electoral areas), the regional district must apportion the tax burden to each participant based on a formula set out in the establishment bylaw for that particular service.
Collection of Taxes
Once the tax burden for each service has been appropriately established and apportioned, the regional district will prepare a tax requisition. By April 10 of each year, the regional district must provide the tax requisition to each of its member municipalities and to the Provincial Surveyor of Taxes, who will levy taxes on behalf of the regional district equal to the requisition amount.
Each member municipality must fully remit the requisition amount to the regional district by August 1 of each year. While there is no formal remission time for the Surveyor of Taxes, they will generally remit funds to regional districts near the August municipal deadline.