The tax sale is a public auction of properties within a municipality which have outstanding property taxes from two years prior to the current year

In accordance with the Local Government Act, the District of Sparwood conducts the annual tax sale the last Monday in September by offering for sale by public auction each parcel of real property on which taxes are delinquent. 

The following notes are intended to provide a general outline of the tax sale process
  • The District of Sparwood will advise if it has an interest in one or more of the properties and if the municipality will be bidding on those properties.
  • The District of Sparwood makes no representation express or implied as to the condition or quality of the property(ies) being offered for sale.
  • Prospective purchasers are urged to inspect the properties and make all necessary inquiries to municipal and other government departments, and in the case of strata lots to the strata corporation, to determine the existence of any bylaws, restrictions, charges or other conditions which may affect the value or suitability of the property(ies).
  • The final determination as to the successful bidder will be made by the Collector who will keep a sales record which shall be conclusive in all respects as to each sale.
  • If no bid is received at or above the upset price, the municipality is deemed to be the purchaser.
Advertising Requirements

The Local Government Act also requires the District to publish tax sale information in at least two editions of the local newspaper with the last advertisement at least three, but no more than 10, days before the sale. 

  • The legal description and street address of the properties for tax sale must be published.

  • To avoid your property being listed in this ad in the newspaper, your delinquent taxes must be paid approximately 2 weeks prior to the Tax Sale date.

Bidding On and Purchasing a Property
  • The announced upset price is the minimum price acceptable and will be the starting point of the bidding on each property.
  • The auction will be conducted with three calls on the final bid.
  • A bid, by any person, will be deemed to be conclusive proof that the person has made himself acquainted with these terms and conditions of sale and has agreed to be bound by them.
  • The highest bid above the upset price will be accepted.
  • Any person, upon being declared the successful bidder, must provide their name and address and pay in cash, money order or certified cheque in a minimum no less than the upset price. Failure to pay this amount will result in the property promptly being offered for sale again. Any balance must be paid in cash, money order or certified cheque by 3:00 p.m. on the date of the tax sale. Failure to pay the balance will result in the property being offered for sale again at 10:00 a.m. the following day.
  • In the case of a property subject to the Strata Property Act, the purchaser may be responsible for the payment of any outstanding strata fees and charges which must be paid to the strata corporation prior to conveyance of the property.
  • The purchase of a tax sale property that is not redeemed is subject to tax under the Property Transfer Tax Act on the fair market value of the property at the end of the one year redemption period.
Notifying Charge Holders

The Collector is required by law to search all property titles and within 90 days after Tax Sale notify all registered charge holders shown on each property.

Rights During the Redemption Period
  • The current registered owner(s) may redeem the property within one year and still has the right of possession during the one year redemption period.
  • The tax sale purchaser has a right to enter the property to “prevent waste” and is recommended to obtain legal advice before exercising such right.
  • If the property is redeemed, the purchaser is entitled to all amounts paid plus interest as set by the Province of BC. Refund interest is calculated on the purchase price of the property, not the upset price.
  • Refund interest paid to a tax sale purchaser due to the redemption of a tax sale property is considered to be taxable income pursuant to the Income Tax Act and therefore the tax sale purchaser may accordingly receive a T5 slip.
  • If the property is not redeemed after one year, the property will be transferred to the tax sale purchaser free and clear of all mortgages, charges, liens, etc. except those imposed by a senior government (Province of British Columbia, Government of Canada).