Property taxes generally pay for local government administration, staffing, debt servicing, leases, and the costs to provide services to the community

Municipalities have authority under Part 7 of the Community Charter to tax property owners.  The taxes collected in Sparwood are used to provide services, such as:

  • water systems;
  • wastewater (or sewer) systems;
  • parks and trails;
  • garbage pickup;
  • snow removal;
  • fire protection;
  • road and sidewalk infrastructure;
  • recreation programs and services; and
  • bylaw enforcement.

Property taxes in Sparwood are calculated on the basis of the market value, or "assessment", of land, improvements or both (i.e. house, barn, garage, yard) and the municipal "tax rate". The District calculates taxes using the variable tax rate system where tax rates are based on a dollar figure per $1,000 dollars of assessed property value. For example if we were to use the 2016 Tax Rates, the property taxes payable on a residential property valued at $300,000 would be $1,164.87  (e.g. 3.8829 tax rate / $1,000 x $300,000 = $1,164.87).

Tax rates differ between municipalities and may vary depending on the "class" of property. The District sets their annual tax rates based on the revenue needed as set out in our financial plan.

There is another kind of property tax called a “Parcel Tax”   

Parcel taxes are often used instead of, or in conjunction with, user fees to recover the costs of providing local government services.  They can be levied on any property that has the opportunity to be provided with a service regardless of whether or not the service is being used.

A parcel tax can be imposed on the basis of a single amount for each parcel; the taxable area of a parcel; and the taxable frontage of the parcel.  The bylaws required to establish a parcel tax scheme must identify the service; state the basis and specify the years for which the tax is imposed.  In addition, they must establish how the taxable area or the taxable frontage of a given property is determined.  A local government must make available to th public, on request, a report respecting how the amounts or rates were determined.

A special assessment listing, or roll, must be created before a parcel tax can be imposed.  This roll lists the parcels to be charged and includes the name and address of the owners of each parcel.  Once it has been completed, the roll must be available for public inspection.  If requested by an owner, the local government must omit or obscure the address of the owner or other information about the owner to protect their privacy or security.

A review panel must be formed by the local government to consider any complaints about the roll and to authenticate it.  A person can make a complaint to the panel on the basis that there is an error or omission with regard to a name or address, the inclusion of a parcel, the taxable area or frontage, or that an exemption has been improperly allowed or disallowed.  Owners are sent a notice of the date set for the sitting of the review panel the first time the tax is imposed on their parcel.  In following years, the sitting of the panel is advertised in two consecutive issues of a local newspaper.

A parcel tax can only be applied to properties that receive a particular service.  In Sparwood, the following parcel taxes are currently collected:

  • Matevic Road water service, authorized by Parcel Tax Bylaw No. 878, 2002.This project extended water service to certain Matevic Road properties and the costs are allocated on taxable frontage.  2017 is the final year of the parcel tax.
  • Sewer and Water Reserve Replenishment Parcel Tax Bylaw 1092, 2012. This tax was established to provide additional money within the water and sewer reserve funds to finance future water and sewer line replacements.  Currently the per parcel tax is $35 for water and $ 54 for sewer and the bylaw expires in 2031.  A review of the tax amount is scheduled every 3 years and the term may be extended if it is determined to be necessary.
  • Michel Creek Road Water Extension Local Service Area Parcel Tax Assessment Roll Bylaw 1122, 2013. This project extended water service to the Michel Creel Road area.  The parcel tax is based on taxable area and will be completed in 2037.
  • Keep your address current for property assessment and taxation purposes 

    The mailing address that appears on the tax and utility notice is updated through BC Assessment. Only registered owners may request a change of mailing address for:

    • BC Assessment records
    • Property tax notices
    • Utility notices

    We forward any requests received by our office to BC Assessment.

    Update your mailing address online

    For faster service, update your mailing address online through BC Assessment's website.

  • Property Tax Deferment is a property tax assistance program offered by the Province

    Property Tax Deferment is a low-interest loan program that assists qualifying homeowners in British Columbia in paying the annual property taxes on their homes. The program is administered by the Province in conjunction with municipal tax collectors.

    There are two different deferment programs:

    Property Tax Deferment allows you to defer your current property taxes less any available Home Owner Grant. The deferment must be applied for on or before the tax due date to avoid penalties. If you miss the property tax due date, you have until December 31 of the current taxation year to apply. Before applying for deferment, you must pay all penalties, interest, and any previous years' property taxes as these cannot be deferred.

    You must apply for each year you wish to defer your taxes. 
  • There are many ways to pay your property taxes on time to avoid penalty. Find an option that works best for you.

Every property owner in the province must pay property taxes unless specifically exempted by provincial statute. Statutory exemptions are listed in both the Community Charter and the Taxation Rural Area Act. These properties include, but are not limited to:
  • schools and universities;
  • public libraries;
  • places of public worship; and,
  • hospitals.

Under the Community Charter and the Local Government Act, the District of Sparwood may grant permissive tax exemptions which exempt certain properties from taxation for a specified period of time. The properties that are exempted in Sparwood are listed in the Permissive Tax Exemption Bylaw.