Local Government Tax Exemptions

Property owners in B.C. must pay property taxes unless specifically exempted by provincial statute. Municipal and regional district tax exemptions can be either statutory or permissive.

Statutory Tax Exemptions

Statutory tax exemptions are automatic exemptions from property tax provided by federal or provincial legislation. Municipal councils and regional district boards have no discretion in this matter.

Statutory tax exemptions are directly assigned by BC Assessment and are based on ownership and use of property. Usually, these properties address a broad public interest or provide a public service.

Permissive Tax Exemptions

Municipalities and regional districts may, by bylaw, grant permissive tax exemptions that exempt certain properties from taxation for a specified period of time. These exemption may include:

  • Public parks owned and held by an athletic or service club
  • Property owned or held by a not-for-profit corporations
  • Art galleries or museums owned by charitable or philanthropic organizations
  • Property owned or held by a public authority but not eligible for a statutory tax exemption
  • Riparian or heritage property
  • Property held for the provision of a partnering agreement
  • Property subject to a revitalization tax agreement

Learn more about permissive tax exemption policies and procedures.