Sun Peaks Mountain Resort Municipality (SPMRM) wants to remind residents who pay property taxes how taxation is applied after receiving public feedback regarding higher taxes this year.
During the budget presentation in April, SPMRM highlighted that municipal tax collection would increase by 7.5 per cent on average due to the growing need for services and inflation. Additionally, property taxation includes other levies which go to the provincial and regional governments. The other levels of government which apply taxes will increase property tax bills well above the 7.5 per cent.
“We have nothing to do with the other taxes – we don’t influence when [the province sets] a rate for schools [or policing], the regional hospital board has the authority to set rates for hospitals and same for the regional district,” said Al Raine, Mayor for SPMRM.
While taxation for local services represents 38 per cent of SPMRM’s taxation, provincial taxes represent 41 per cent of total property taxes and regional government taxes represent 21 per cent. Property taxes include B.C. Assessment Authority (BCAA), hospital services, the Municipal Finance Authority, education, policing and the Thompson-Nicola Regional District.
“[Other levels of government] send us a bill for services, and it’s a bill we can’t dispute,” Raine said.
Property taxes are based on the assessed value of homes under provincial law, with B.C. Assessment evaluating property values throughout the province. The average home value in Sun Peaks is higher than the average for the region, at $1.6 million which Raine said results in Sun Peaks’ property owners paying more per home than the average regional homeowner for all services that are not municipal services.
B.C. Assessment Authority is a B.C. crown corporation, and a portion of property taxes are used to cover administrative costs for assessing home values.
While the tax for BCAA represents less than one per cent of a resident’s tax bill, the levy paid to cover administrative costs increased by 19.7 per cent compared to last year, or $9,586.
Policing represents four per cent of local taxation and it increased by 39.8 per cent or $71,325 this year.
Hospital taxes account for seven per cent of the overall tax bill for residents and increased 9.4 per cent or $43,619 compared to the year before.
The province also collects the tax for education taxes, which is paid out to school districts per capita by examining the number of students, schools and busing requirements depending on rural or urban environments, Raine explained.
The provincial education tax represented 36 per cent of total property tax bill for this year and increased by 21 per cent or $429,316.
The Thompson-Nicola Regional District levy is 14 per cent of property tax bills, which goes to fund services like libraries in the region, increased by 10 per cent or $90,885 of residents’ overall property tax bill.
The Municipal Finance Authority also levies a tax of less than one per cent of property taxes. This went up by 25.5 per cent compared to the year before.
Taxes can be paid through SPMRM’s online portal for those who have applied and a penalty applies for those who pay their taxes after July 4.
Editor’s note, June 30, 10:30 a.m.: This article has been updated to clarify which levels of government are responsible for specific service taxation and correct the cause for an increase in local taxation. SPIN previously reported the average increase of 7.5 per cent taxation for SPMRM’s was in part due to high property values when it is not.
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