Local government 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.

Eligibility for statutory tax exemptions is directly set through legislation and not at the discretion of a municipal council. These exemptions are directly applied to eligible properties by BC Assessment.

Statutorily exempt properties are usually government properties or properties that provide some equivalence to government services, for example:

  • Hospitals and health facilities
  • Universities
  • Colleges and other institutions
  • Public schools
  • Libraries
  • Municipal properties
  • Emergency facilities
  • Sewage treatment plants

In addition, there some specific legacy exemptions:

  • Cemeteries
  • Places of public worship
  • Certain farm fixtures.

A statutory exemption triggers an automatic exemption from all property taxes including municipal taxes and taxes for other public authorities such as school, hospital and regional districts.

Provincial and federal Crown properties are exempt under the federal Constitution but pay a grant‐in‐lieu of taxes.