Understanding Your Property Taxes
What is property assessment?
Property assessment is the process used to assign a value to all property in the Northwest. Consistent guidelines and techniques allow property assessors to ensure that similar kinds of property are assessed the same way and that assessed values for each property are fair and equitable.
Only land and improvements are assessed. Improvements include buildings, mobile units, pipelines, works and transmission lines. Personal property such as jewelry, cars, televisions and other personal possessions are not assessed.
What is property taxation?
A system of taxation that requires lessees, owners or occupiers of land and buildings to pay an amount of money based on the value of their land and buildings. Everyone who owns or occupies property, including individuals, businesses and industry pays property tax.
Why do we have to pay property tax?
Like most other taxes, property tax is imposed by government to generate money for a public purpose, and it is compulsory and enforceable by law. The money raised from the property taxes you pay are critical to funding local programs and services, such as:
Police and fire protection
Emergency rescue services
Road construction and maintenance
Recreation and community centers
When a community starts a new service, they are responsible for the costs. In some cases, the cost for the new service may be shared with other nearby communities. A recreation facility is a good example of when the cost to provide a new service may be shared.
Paying Your Property Taxes
You will be sent a property tax notice in the mail before the end of May. Notices are sent out at least 30 days prior to the due date. If you haven’t received your notice 15 days before the due date, please contact the Village Office at 250-846-5212 to request a duplicate bill.
As a property owner, you are responsible for payment, whether or not you receive a notice. If your mailing address is not correct in our system, you must update your information with BC Assessment.
If your payment cannot be processed due to an error on a cheque, insufficient bank funds or a returned item you will be charged a late payment penalty.
If you have taxes owing for 3 years (the current year plus two previous years), your property will be listed in the municipal tax sale, according to provincial legislation.
Property Tax Payment Options
Five Ways to Pay
By cheque, cash, or debit card at the Telkwa Village Office. Credit card payments are not currently accepted. Office hours are Monday to Friday, 8:30 am-4:30pm. Closed for lunch hour from 12:30pm to 1:30pm.
By mail. Cheque Payments sent by mail must be received at the Telkwa Village Office by the due date. Postmarked by the due date is not accepted as on time.
At a financial institution that offers property tax payment services.
Online banking or by telephone banking. Please allow two (2) to three (3) business days processing to ensure payment is made on time. Be sure to include the property tax folio number when paying online.
Pay by pre-authorized monthly payment plan.
You may pay in person: by cash, by debit, or by cheques at the Village Office Monday through Friday between the hours of 8:30am-12:30pm and 1:30pm to 4:30pm.
If you're paying your property taxes through your mortgage company, claim your Home Owner Grant (if eligible) online, or in person, by the due date, to avoid late penalty fees.
You are responsible for communicating with your mortgage company and managing this service to ensure the balance owing is paid by the due date to avoid late penalty charges.
Applying for a Home Owner Grant
The Province of British Columbia offers a home owner grant that reduces the amount of property tax you pay for your principal residence. The grant is applied toward the current year's property tax.
If you qualify for a home owner grant, you can apply online, or in person, once you receive your property tax notice in May.
Home Owner Grant Qualifications
You may qualify as a homeowner if you are:
When to Apply
Apply for the grant each year by the due date indicated on your tax notice to avoid late penalty fees on the grant amount. If you don't pay your property tax balance in full, in anticipation of receiving a home owner grant, but your grant application is denied, you may receive late penalties on the tax amount remaining.
How to Apply
Apply online or fill in the home owner grant application included with your property tax notice. This can be completed and submitted to the Village of Telkwa Office.
If you qualify for the senior home owner grant, please refer to Column C on your property tax notice for your payment amount.
Lost Folio Number or Access Code
If you have lost your folio number or access code, please visit the Village Office as this information cannot be provided over the phone or by email.
Apply for a Retroactive Home Owner Grant
If you forgot to apply for your Home Owner Grant last year, you may still be able to receive a retroactive home owner grant provided:
You qualified for the grant on December 31 of last year. For example, you have until December 31, 2019 to claim the 2018 home owner grant.
You are still the registered owner of the property
Changing Your Address Information
If your mailing address, name or owners of your property change, you are responsible for updating your information. You must update your information with the B.C. Assessment authority through their website, or by filling in the change of address form in the Telkwa Village Office.
As a property owner, you are responsible for payment of your property tax and utilities, whether or not you receive a notice.
Find out how to update your property tax information:
For the fastest service, update your mailing address online through BC Assessment.
Your property identification:
Area = 25
Jurisdiction = 578
Roll Number = Your Folio Number (which can be accessed through the Village Office)
Deferring Your Property Taxes
You may be able to receive a low interest loan from the B.C. provincial government to pay your current year property taxes for your principle residence. Applications for the Tax Deferment Programs will be available from the Provincial Tax Deferment Office in mid-May. Forms will also be available at that time at the Telkwa Village Office.
Residents who apply to defer their property taxes are still responsible to pay their annual utility bill, claim their home owner grant and pay any user fees showing on their tax notice. The tax notice items that can not be deferred are waste collection, water, and sewer.
There are 2 programs you may qualify for:
You may qualify for a deferment program if you are a homeowner who is
over 55 years old during the current tax year
a surviving spouse of any age
a person with a disability
Review full details and how to qualify for the Regular Deferment Program.
Families with Children Program
If you are a homeowner who is financially supporting a dependent child under age 18, you may defer your taxes if you certify that the child:
lives full time with you, on your eligible property, or
lives part time with you, under a shared custody arrangement, or
does not live with you, but you pay support for the child or are responsible for fees and/or living costs if attending school.
Review full details and how to qualify for the families With Children (FC) Deferment Program.
Renewing your Property Tax Deferment
You must apply for renewal for each year you wish to continue deferring your property taxes.
A renewal form will be sent to all active deferral clients by the Provincial Tax Deferment office in May. Complete and submit the renewal application form to the Telkwa Village Office along with your:
Completed home owner grant application (if you qualify)
Utilities or user fees payment
Payment for any outstanding penalty or interest
We suggest that you submit your application at least 15 days before the tax due date in order to avoid late payment penalties.