The BC Community Charter sets out in detail the regulations for property taxation. The amount of money to be raised through taxation is set by Council through the budget process. Council adopts a Property Tax Rate Bylaw by May 15th each year. A letter from the Mayor is included with your tax notice outlining how your tax dollars are being spent is included in your tax notice.
Municipal tax rates are set annually by bylaw. The level at which the tax rates are set is largely dependent on the District's operational requirements as dictated by service levels, planned capital expenditures and debt repayment. Once set, municipal tax rates are applied to the assessed value of a property, as determined by BC Assessment, to calculate the municipal tax payable.
Other public agencies also require revenue for the services they provide to the residents of Sparwood. Each public agency with taxing authority sets a budget for the amount of tax revenue it requires. Tax rates vary among agencies and are calculated by dividing the revenue requirements of the agency by its assessment base. The resulting tax collection for the other agencies is subsequently remitted to the respective agency and is not retained by the District for its own use.
The Finance Department controls and supervises the District's financial affairs. This includes the billing and collection of taxes and utility charges, as well as all other monies paid to the municipality. and the implementation and maintenance of the appropriate financial systems and safeguards to manage expenditures, payroll and benefit administration.
In addition, the Finance Department plays the lead role in developing and articulating the long term financial plan and related initiatives. The Department also provides a stewardship role with respect to Municipal assets, performs treasury functions, and reports on a wide array of financial matters to ensure accountability and clarity in all Municipal business.
A considerable amount of resources are invested annually in the preparation, delivery and filing of the five year financial plan, audited financial statements and statutory reports. In its capacity as the custodian of financial systems the Finance Department provides internal support for all departments and financial advice and guidance to Council. The Department also participates in developing and supporting corporate initiatives such as strategic planning, human resources, risk management and information systems.