Frequently Asked Questions

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Frequently Asked Tax Questions

Answers to your frequently asked tax questions

 

 

What is the District’s mailing address and contact information?

District of Mission
8645 Stave Lake Street
Mission, B.C.  V2V 4L9

Our office is open Monday – Friday 8:00am – 4:30pm (except statutory holidays)

Phone: 604-820-3717 (Finance) 604-820-3718 (Utilities)
Fax: 604-826-1363
Email: tax@mission.ca or utilityfees@mission.ca

Why have my property taxes increased?

The following may be some of the factors that affect the amount of your tax bill:

  • change in assessment values
  • new or increased utility charges (water, sewer, garbage, recycling/composting)
  • new local improvement charges
  • changes in Home Owner Grant status

Why is my tax increase higher than the Council approved rate?

Council approves the general levy for the entire District’s budget, but that doesn’t mean you will see that same percentage change on your tax notice.  Many factors influence the taxes on a given property making it different from the overall percentage approved by Council and reported in the media.

If every property value assessment in the municpality increased or decreased by exactly the same amount every year, the increase in your general levy would be comparable to the rate approved by Council.  In reality, each year some assessments go up more (or less) than the average and some may go down.  If BC Assessment reports the average residential assessment increased by 10%, but your own assessment went up 20%, it’s likely that your taxes will go up by more than the increase amount passed by Council.  This does not indicate that your taxes are going up 20%.

Another factor is that the District of Mission collects taxes on behalf of other groups. They develop their own budgets outside of the District’s control.  Other charges such as water, sewer, garbage or  recycling/ composting may also appear on your notice, but are not included in the general levy which is the number most often reported in the media.

With so many factors coming into play, it becomes clear why an increase passed by Council doesn’t necessarily equal the change on your own tax notice.

What is the Tax Rate?

When the annual budget is adopted by Council for the current year, Council passes a Tax Rate Bylaw.  This Bylaw sets a levy rate for each class as defined on the BC Assessment Roll.  This levy must be sufficient to raise revenue to pay all debts and obligations of the District falling due within the year.  This rate applies to each $1,000 of taxable value of land and improvements.  This rate is referred to as the General Tax Levy.

The District of Mission is not the only authority that taxes properties in the district.  Six other taxing authorities derive a portion of their annual revenue from the property base:

The District of Mission has no or little control over these other taxing authorities’ levies.  However, to reduce the administrative cost of billing and collecting these other property taxes, the District of Mission includes these levies on the tax notice sent to property owners each year.

What are the Assessment Values?

The assessed value of a property and improvements are determined by BC Assessment.  BC Assessment is an independent agency created by the Provincial Government for the purpose of valuing all properties in BC for taxation purposes.

I just purchased my property.  What do I need to do?

New owners should contact the municipal property tax office to find out if any taxes are outstanding.  A new owner may have many questions and our staff would be glad to help you on tax issues.  To help serve you better, please have the property address ready.

If property taxes are due and you do not know your balance owing, you may contact us at tax@mission.ca or  604-820-3717 to get your outstanding balance.

What are the basic eligibility requirements to claim a Home Owner Grant?

To be eligible for the home owner grant, you must be a Canadian Citizen or Landed Immigrant and ordinarily reside in British Columbia. This means you:

  • have all or most of your personal belongings in BC
  • have (or are eligible for) BC Medical Insurance
  • have (or are eligible for) a BC Driver’s License and are able to register vehicles in BC
  • file a BC Income Tax Return
  • are entitled to vote in BC

You must be the owner or occupant of an eligible residence and live in it as your principal residence. You must qualify at the time you submit the signed application form.  For more eligibility requirements visit Home Owner Grant Administration.

What is the amount of the grant available?

For 2016, the maximum:
BASIC Home Owner Grant is $570*
ADDITIONAL Home Owner Grant is $845 ($570 + $275)*

*Note: The Home Owner Grant amount is reduced or eliminated based on property value over $1,200,000  with a minimum property tax payable of $350 ($100 if you are claiming the additional home owner grant).

At what assessed value does the Home Owner Grant get reduced and eliminated?

2016 reduction rules:
The grant is reduced at a rate of $5 for each $1,000 of assessed value over $1,200,000.
The basic grant is eliminated when the assessed value reaches $1,214,000.
The additional grant is eliminated when the assessed value reaches $1,269,000.

Where do I get a grant application?

The grant is located on the bottom of your tax notice that will be mailed out at the end of May.  If you know your roll number and  password (located on your tax notice), you may claim your grant online. Or you can download a generic home owner grant application form here.

What is a Retroactive (Retro) Home Owner Grant?

In some circumstances, the Province allows certain home owners to apply for a missed home owner grant from the prior year.  It is not possible to claim back further than one year.

  • Requests must be made using a Retroactive Home Owner Grant Application Form .
  • Applications must be submitted to the District of Mission Finance Department.  Do not send forms to the Provincial Home Owner Grant Administration office as they may be delayed or fail to reach the District’s Finance Department.
  • Submissions must include the fully completed and signed Retro Home Owner Grant form along with required supporting documentation.

More information and the application form can be found at the Province’s web site.

When are property taxes billed?

Tax notices are always mailed at the end of May each year.  If you do not receive your tax notice by the first week of June please contact the Finance Department at 604-820-3717 or email us at tax@mission.ca .

What are my payment options?

Please see payment methods for all current options accepted by the District of Mission.

Can I pay with a Credit Card?

Credit Cards are not accepted for tax and utility payments.

What happens if property taxes go unpaid?

The District of Mission is legislated by the Community Charter and requires a 10% penalty be imposed on any property taxes that remain outstanding after the July due date.  This legislation does not give authority to the District to waive late penalty charges and is applied consistently to all taxpayers.

Your payment and Home Owner Grant (if eligible) must be received by the District of Mission on or before the due date to avoid penalty charges.  Grants not claimed or incomplete are considered unpaid taxes and will result in penalty charges.  For greater ease, claim your home owner grant electronically here.

Failure of an intermediary such as Canada Post, a lawyer or notary to remit a payment or a grant application on behalf of the owner is a private matter for resolution between the parties involved and is outside the tax collector’s authority and responsibility.

If property taxes are not paid by the end of the year, the outstanding balance will accrue interest.  As of January 1, 2016 the annual interest rate, set by the Provincial Government, is currently 5.7% and is charged on prior years outstanding balances.

If taxes remain unpaid at the end of three (3) years, the property is publicly auctioned at Tax Sale to recover the taxes owing as stated by the Community Charter.

What is the Pre-Authorized Debit Plan (PAD)?

The Pre-Authorized Debit Plan is a convenient way to make prepayments toward your next year’s taxes.

For more information and terms and conditions visit Pre-Authorized Debit Plan.

How do I change my mailing address?

The District of Mission is obligated to issue tax notices using the mailing address provided by BC Assessment.   If the mailing address on your tax notice is incorrect, it should be changed through the BC Assessment website.

What are the eligibility requirements to claim a Disability Grant?

To be eligible for the additional Disability home owner grant, you must first qualify for the basic home owner grant. There are two different disability requirements that you may qualify for:

1)         You are designated as a person with disabilities and you receive provincial disability assistance, hardship assistance or a supplement under the Employment and Assistance for Persons with Disabilities Act; OR

2)         You are permanently disabled or have a permanently disabled spouse or relative living with you in your principal residence and, for the person with disabilities to manage normal daily functioning, you pay more than $150 per month for physical assistance or you have spent more than $2,000 for structural modifications to your principle residence.

For more information, visit the Home Owner Grant Administration website.

Tax Sale – What does this mean?

The following is intended to provide a general outline of the tax sale process. For complete information, prospective purchasers should consult the Local Government Act, in particular (but not limited to) Sections 403 to 428.

  • The District of Mission is required by the Local Government Act to sell at Tax Sale all properties whose taxes have not been paid for three (3) years (2014).
  • The Local Government Act gives the Collector authority to sell a property for the Upset Price which equals all outstanding taxes + penalties + interest + 5% tax sale costs + Land Title Office fees.
  • All property sales are “as is” without warrant or guarantee by the District of Mission.
  • For additional information go to Tax Sale

 

Comments or questions?  Send an e-mail to tax@mission.ca