Property taxes in rural areas
COVID-19 Update: Find out what's changed with rural property taxes.
If your property is not located in a city, town, district or village, it is in a rural area. When you own property or lease Crown land in a rural area, you will receive your property tax notice from the province's Surveyor of Taxes Office every June. You pay your property taxes to the province.
The province collects taxes for provincial services (e.g. school and policing) and on behalf of other organizations to raise funds for services. Often services have unique boundaries that determine who will be taxed to pay for them. Some of the organizations the province collects on behalf of are:
- Regional Districts
- Regional Hospital Districts
- Improvement Districts
- Islands Trust
- University Endowment Lands
Each of these organizations lets the province know how much money they need to provide services for the year. The Surveyor of Taxes then determines the tax rates needed to raise the funds to pay for each service.
All property owners share the cost of providing education and policing in B.C. If you own property, you are required to pay school tax and police tax for each property you own, unless the property qualifies for a school tax exemption or credit.
You don't pay property taxes if you own a property that is exempt from property taxation, such as:
- a place of public worship
- private school
- non-profit residence for the elderly
- sewage treatment plant
- recreational camp that is owned or occupied by a registered charity
You need to notify BC Assessment if you:
- acquired a property and are entitled to a tax exemption, or
- start to use your property in a way that qualifies for a tax exemption
The exemption will become effective in the tax year following the year you acquired or changed the use of the property. You will be responsible for ensuring the property taxes are paid for the current year.