Property Tax Information

The Village of Burns Lake sends annual property tax notices to all property owners. Property taxes cover the calendar year, are sent to homeowners in mid May, and are due the first business day after July 1st.

Each year, the BC Assessment Authority produces independent and uniform property assessments for all property owners in the province. BC Assessment provides market value information on properties within the Village of Burns Lake to the municipality as the basis for calculating annual property taxes. Municipal Council uses this information to determine the annual tax rate.

A portion of the amount the Village of Burns Lake collects each year is collected for other taxing authorities including the Provincial Government (School Taxes & Police), Regional District General & Special, Regional Hospital District, BC Assessment Authority, and the Municipal Finance Authority. The municipality has no control over the rates for these agencies. These taxes are paid to the specific agency, even if property owners do not pay their annual property taxes.

Burns Lake properties are levied property taxes, the most important single source of municipal revenue that pays for municipal services including recreation facilities, parks and trails, and fire services. These taxes are the Municipal General Tax portion of your tax notice.

If your payment is received after the due date, a ten percent (10%) late payment penalty is added to unpaid current year taxes, including unclaimed Home Owner Grants.

If you have not received your property tax notice, please contact the Village of Burns Lake Office at 250-692-7587. It is the responsibility of the property owner to pay property taxes by the due date to avoid penalty, regardless of whether a notice was received.

Property taxes are payable by the penalty date printed on the tax notice. If your payment is late, a ten percent (10%) penalty is added to unpaid current year taxes, including unclaimed home owner grants.

Regardless of how you pay your taxes, please remember:

  • To avoid penalty, your payment and home owner grant application must be received by the penalty date.
  • The home owner grant must be applied for each year.
  • It is not necessary to make a payment in order to claim the grant.
  • Postmarks on mailed remittances will not be considered as date of payment.
  • Mail lost or delayed by the post office will be subject to penalty.

The Home Owner Grant program is a property tax relief program to assist eligible owners by reducing the burden of residential property taxes, firstly school taxes. It is administered by the Home Owner Grant Administration Branch of the Ministry of Small Business and Revenue.

An owner together with his/her spouse qualifies for a Provincial Home Owner Grant for only one residence in any one calendar year.

The Home Owner Grant must be claimed by the Tax Due Date to avoid penalty. To obtain the grant, you must complete the application form on the front of the tax notice. If you are eligible for the grant and wish to apply for it, you must tick the box that describes your qualification. If you are 65 or over, you must state your birth date.

Unclaimed grants constitute unpaid current taxes and are subject to penalties. A ten percent (10%) penalty will be applied on the amount of the Home Owner Grant. To avoid the penalty on Grant portion of your taxes, the Home Owner Grant must be claimed even if a payment on outstanding taxes is not made. If you require assistance, please contact the Village of Burns Lake Office at 250-692-7587.

If your mortgage company or other agent pays your property taxes, it is your responsibility to claim the grant by completing the grant application and delivering it to the Village of Burns Lake Office on or before the due date.

Home owners eligible for the basic grant must pay a minimum tax of $350. Home owners eligible for the additional grant must pay a minimum tax of $100.

The grant is reduced by $5 for each $1,000 of assessed value over $1,150,000. As a result, the basic grant is reduced to zero for residential properties valued at $1,264,000 or greater. The additional grant is eliminated on residential properties assessed at $1,319,000 or higher.

For retroactive applications for the Home Owner Grant, please contact the Village of Burns Lake Office at 250-692-7587.

Tax Rates

Each year, after adoption of the financial plan, but before May 15, Municipal Council must, by bylaw, impose property taxes for the year by establishing tax rates (or mill rates) for:

  • the municipal revenue proposed to be raised for the year from property taxes, as provided in the financial plan, and
  • the amounts to be collected for the year by means of rates established by the municipality to meet its taxing obligations in relation to other local governments or other public bodies (i.e. Regional District and Regional Hospital District).

Click here to view the Tax Rates.

You may qualify for this program if you are age 55 or older, a widow/widower or in receipt of a disability allowance under the Disability Benefits Program Act. The province is also offering a Families with Children deferment program for taxpayers meeting specific criteria who are supporting a dependent child under the age of 18 at any time in the calendar year in which you apply. For more information, please visit the provincial web site for the Property Tax Deferment program or contact our office at 250-692-7587.

If you are already in the Tax Deferment program, please submit your Deferment Renewal Form and your Home Owner Grant Application together with your payment for user charges before the penalty date to the Village of Burns Lake Office.

  1. Prepayments  You may make prepayments of $5.00 or more at any time. The maximum  prepayment amount allowed is the net taxes paid from the previous year.  You can only prepay your taxes if you have no unpaid taxes from previous years. Contact the Village of Burns Lake Office with any questions.
  2. Pay In Person  Bring your tax notice and payment to the Village of Burns Lake Office at  #15 3rd Avenue. We are open 8:00 am to 4:00 pm from Monday to Friday. Acceptable payment methods include:
  • Personal cheques – payable to The Village of Burns Lake*
  • Post-dated personal cheques*
  • Money Orders
  • Bank Drafts
  • Cheques issued by your Credit Card provider
  • Debit Card
  • Cash
  • Credit Cards are accepted for property tax payments online only. Click here to pay online.

*Dishonoured cheques constitute non-payment of taxes and will be subject to penalty, interest, and a $25.00 returned cheque fee.

  1. Online Payment If you bank at the Bulkley Valley Credit Union, CIBC or RBC, you can pay your propery taxes online. Simply add the Village of Burns Lake as a payee in your online bill payment function. DON’T FORGET THAT YOU MUST STILL CLAIM YOUR HOMEOWNER’S GRANT. See “Applying for your homeowner’s grant.”
  2. 24 Hour Mail Slot  There is a secure Mail Slot located at the entrance to the Village of  Burns Lake Office that is accessible seven days a week.
  3. By mail  Mailed payments must be received no later than the penalty date printed on the tax notice to avoid the late penalty charges. Remember to include your completed Home Owner Grant application. Post dated cheques are acceptable.
    Send your payment to:
         The Village of Burns Lake
         PO Box 570
         Burns Lake BC V0J 1E0
  4. With your mortgage payment  Your financial institution can pay your taxes on your behalf if you have made such an arrangement through your mortgage agreement. Contact your mortgage company for further information. Remember to submit your  completed home owner grant application directly to the Village of Burns Lake Office.
  5. At the local Credit Union  You can pay your property taxes at the Credit Union if you are a Credit Union  customer. For your payment to be considered on time, you must have a receipt from your bank with a date stamped on or before the tax due date. If  making a payment on the due date, please check your bank stamp to ensure  the correct date is shown. Receipts stamped after the penalty date will be subject to a 10% penalty. Please check with the Credit Union regarding bank cut off times to avoid penalty.  Remember to complete and sign your home owner grant application.
  6. Tax Deferment  You may be eligible to defer your current property taxes. The British Columbia Tax Deferment Program is a loan program that allows you to defer  your annual property taxes on your home if you meet certain criteria. Only current year taxes are eligible for deferment. You will still be responsible to submit your Home Owner Grant to the Village of Burns Lake Office by the due date as well as pay your annual refuse charge if applicable to avoid a 10% penalty. Applications received after the  property tax due date will be subject to a 10% penalty as well as any denied applications. For detailed information on this program visit the Deferment Office Website, or contact the Village of Burns Lake Office at 250-692-7587.

NOTE:  Failure of an intermediary such as a financial institution, Canada Post, or a lawyer to remit payment and/or the home owner grant application on behalf of the owner is a private matter for resolution between the parties involved and is outside the Village of Burns Lake’s authority and responsibility.

We need your correct address in order to mail a tax notice to you. If you move, or if the address to which your tax notice should be mailed has changed, please notify the Village of Burns Lake Office 250-692-7587 or the BC Assessment Authority 250-479-7131.

Unless a new address is provided, we will rely on address (and ownership) records of the Land Title Office, provided to us by the BC Assessment Authority.

Again, it is your responsibility to inquire if you don’t receive your property tax notice by the middle of June.

New Homeowners

When you buy a property, you become liable for all outstanding taxes. You can not claim the home owner grant on the property in the year you buy it if the seller paid the taxes in full and did not claim the grant, or if you already claimed a grant on another property.

Any changes to the ownership of a property, including name changes, should be filed at the Land Registry Office, 850 Burdett Avenue, Victoria BC V8W 1B4.

Additional Resources

Each year, the municipality, school districts, regional district, hospital district, and other public agencies need revenue for the services they provide to the residents of Burns Lake.

Each public agency with taxing authority sets a budget for the amount of tax revenue it requires. Tax rates vary among property classifications and are calculated by dividing the budget needs of the agency by its assessment base.

The appropriate tax rate is then applied to individual property assessments, and the tax levy is calculated. Tax exemptions for some categories of property – farms, for example – are calculated as part of the assessment before the tax rate is applied.

Municipal property tax rates are set by the Village of Burns Lake. The revenue from these taxes is used for public services such as fire protection, street lighting, road and drainage maintenance and parks and recreational facilities. Your tax notice may also include local services levies calculated on a parcel basis or on the frontage of your property, rather than on its assessed value.

School tax rates applicable to residential properties are set by the provincial government. Residential school taxes are based in part on the number of residences, as well as the total assessed value of residential property in the province, creating a different tax rate in each school district.

School tax rates applicable to non-residential properties are also set by the provincial government. The rates vary by property classification, but are uniform throughout the province within each non-residential property class.

Other taxes shown on the tax notice raise revenues on the budget needs set by local government bodies such as the Regional District, Regional Hospital District, BC Assessment Authority, and Municipal Finance Authority.

Medical Certificates

If you are applying for the additional Home Owner Grant under the Medical requirements, please discuss with the Village of Burns Lake Office before you take the Medical Certificate to the doctor.

My spouse/relative passed away, how do I get the name on the tax notice changed? Any changes to the ownership of a property, including name changes, should be filed at the Land Registry Office, 850 Burdett Avenue, Victoria BC V8W 1B4. They can be contacted by telephone at 250-387-6331.

I haven’t received a tax notice, what should I do? Tax notices are mailed to property owners mid May. If you have not received your notice, contact the Village of Burns Lake Office at 250-692-7587, or visit the office at #15 3rd Ave. Copies of Tax Notices can be mailed or faxed to home owners.

I received a tax notice for my property but it’s not in my name, what should I do? If your name does not appear on the tax notice but you are the registered owner and you are eligible for the Home Owner Grant, you may apply for the grant, but you will need your title number found on the Transfer of Fee Simple, or other document conveying the property to you. For further assistance, contact the Village of Burns Lake at 250-692-7587, or bring your transfer papers into the office.

I received a tax notice for a property that I no longer own, what should I do? If you have the information of the new owner you should forward the tax notice to them. Alternatively you can return it to the Village of Burns Lake Office at #15 3rd Avenue.

If I am selling my home, who should apply for the Home Owner Grant and pay the taxes? If you have not yet sold the property and are eligible for the grant, then you should apply for it. If you have already sold the property, and the new owner(s) live at the property, then the new owner(s) should apply for it, assuming that they have not claimed a grant for any other property in this calendar year. Attorneys for buyers and sellers of property normally adjust the purchase/sale price to account for the property taxes. If you are unable to see how the taxes were adjusted on your Statement of Adjustments, then you should contact the lawyer or realtor who closed your sale for further advisement.

The property taxes were paid by the lawyer, what should I do? Ask your lawyer if you are responsible for claiming the Home Owner Grant. If you are the new owner and you are to apply for the grant, submit the grant application form to the Village of Burns Lake by the due date to avoid penalty.

I didn’t claim my Home Owner Grant last year, can I still claim it? The Provincial Government allows an extension of time in which to claim a grant for the prior year if you are the homeowner or eligible occupant and you meet all residency qualifications up to December 31 of that year. Retroactive grant application forms are available at the Village of Burns Lake Office. Documentary evidence for proof of residency may be requested. Retroactive applications are applicable for the preceding year only.

I don’t turn 65 until after the taxes are due, can I still claim the additional grant, or do I have to wait until next year? You are eligible to claim the additional grant in the calendar year that you turn 65 years of age. So if your birth date is after the July deadline, you are still eligible to claim the additional grant as long as you turn 65 during the calendar year.

My spouse is away until after the tax due date, can I sign the home owner grant on his/her behalf? If a registered owner is unavailable to sign the Home Owners Grant, he or she may appoint a committee or another person providing that:

  • the registered owner qualifies for the grant
  • you are in possession of a notarized power of attorney

Please note that some Power of Attorney forms, which are not provided by the Municipality, could be restrictive in nature and may not be applicable for purposes of claiming a grant.

Eligible occupants may also pay their gross taxes and apply for the grant retroactively. By paying gross taxes, the owners can avoid any penalties on unpaid taxes.

The property is in my name but my child is living in it, can he/she claim the grant? No, only the registered owner can claim a home owner grant if they are eligible. Only one grant can be claimed per year, even if you own multiple properties. If the child’s name appears on the title then they can claim the grant if they also meet the other eligibility criteria.

If the registered owner of a property passes away, can a home owner grant be claimed on their behalf? If a spouse or relative of the deceased owner is living at the property, then he/she may claim the grant on behalf of the owner, if the following applies:

  • Registered owner passed away during this calendar year Applicant is a permanent resident of BC, occupied this residence prior to the death and continues to occupy this residence (proof of residency will be requested)
  • The residence remains registered in the name of the deceased owner (or estate of deceased owner) Note: If the deceased was eligible for the additional grant during this calendar year, you may apply for applicable grant in the year of death only.

Why am I being penalized for not claiming my grant? You can reduce the amount of taxes owing by claiming grants you are eligible for; until you claim your grant the total remains outstanding. Grants have to be claimed EACH year.

I can’t pay my current year’s taxes, what should I do? Claim your home owner grant, if applicable, and send it in with a partial payment, or no payment before the due date. You will receive a penalty on the outstanding balance as of the penalty date and then there will be no more charges until January 1st, so you have some time to pay off the balance without further charges. On January 1st, outstanding balances are charged daily interest.

If I can’t pay my taxes will you sell my house by public auction? Properties that have current, arrears, and delinquent taxes as of the last Monday in September will be offered for public auction with the starting bid being the outstanding taxes. All three years taxes must be outstanding before the property is offered at tax sale. All properties subject to the tax sale must be advertised in the newspaper before the public auction occurs. You do not have to pay all three years worth of taxes to keep your property from being sold, but the delinquent taxes (the oldest) must be cleared up before the Property Tax Sale. Contact the Village of Burns Lake Office for further information at 250-692-7587.

Can I pay my taxes through the pre-authorized payment plan? Currently we do not offer this service through the Village of Burns Lake.

Can I access my property tax information online? Currently we do not offer this service through the Village of Burns Lake.

What are the penalties for not paying my taxes on time? If property taxes are not paid by the due date, a 10% penalty charge will be added to the amount owing (including amounts owing for unclaimed Home Owner Grants).

Example, if the total outstanding taxes are $1,000, the penalty charged is $100, so the balance due would then be $1,100. The Village of Burns Lake has no authority to either waive or modify these penalty amounts. A payment that is one day late is subjected to the same penalty as a payment of taxes six months after the due date. It is a requirement of the Community Charter that these penalties be added.

Where can I get information and an application to defer my taxes? You can obtain a deferment application from the Village of Burns Lake office or you can visit the Deferment Website. For more information, please call the Village of Burns Lake at 250-692-7587.

When should I submit my deferment application? When you receive your tax notice in mid May you should claim your Home Owner Grant, pay your refuse charge if applicable, and submit your completed deferment application to the Burns Lake Village office. Click here for more information on the provincial deferment program.

What types of homes qualify for tax deferment? You may defer your taxes on your home where you live and conduct your daily activities. Second residences such as summer cottages and rental properties do not qualify for tax deferment benefits.

What happens if my deferment application is denied? You must pay late payment penalty charges if you are found ineligible for the program after the property tax due date. A 10% penalty will be applied to any outstanding balances on your account.

How long can I defer my property taxes? You can defer your taxes as long as you own and live in your home and continue to qualify for the program. The deferred taxes must be fully repaid with interest:

  • before your home can be legally transferred to a new owner, other than directly to your surviving spouse, or
  • upon the death of the agreement holder(s)

If you refinance your home, your mortgage holder may require full repayment of the deferred taxes upon refinancing. You may repay all or part of the deferred taxes, fees, and interest at any time without penalty.

What is the First Time Home Buyers’ Grant (PTT – Property Transfer Tax) and what do I have to do to get it? Is this the same program as the Provincial Home Owner Grant? You pay property transfer tax each time that you register a property at the Land Title Office. If you are purchasing your first home, you may qualify for an exemption from property transfer tax. Find out more about the First Time Home Buyers Grant.

The Provincial Home Owner Grant is not the same grant. The Home Owner Grant is available to all eligible home owners every taxation year. A grant application must be submitted annually to the municipality to verify eligibility in order for the grant to be applied to your tax account.

What is a permissive tax exemption and how do I qualify for it? The Community Charter gives Council the authority to exempt certain land and/or improvements from municipal property taxes. Municipal Council will consider Permissive Tax Exemptions for certain non-profit organizations. For more information phone the Village of Burns Lake Office at 250-692-7587.

I received a property assessment, but I think the value is too high. What do I do? You can appeal your property tax assessment with BC Assessment Authority #102 3350 Douglas Street, Victoria BC V8Z 7X9, telephone 479-7131. You must contact BC Assessment Authority for information on the appeal process, the municipality is not responsible for values assigned to your property, and therefore has no authority to make changes to your annual assessment.

I think that my taxes are too high, can I appeal them? Each year the tax rates are set by Municipal Council and other taxing authorities in May. They are based on their respective budgets and the total Municipal Assessment. All residential properties in Burns Lake are taxed with the same tax rate. If you would like to appeal your assessment, click here for more information.

I sent my tax payment in, why haven’t I received a receipt showing my account is paid? The municipality no longer automatically sends a receipt for all property tax payments. If you require a receipt, please include a request for one with your payment, or contact the Village of Burns Lake Office by phone at 250-692-7587.

Why are there utility charges on my tax notice? Unpaid utility charges that are overdue at the end of the year are transferred to your tax account in the form of arrears, based on the Community Charter. For more information on your utility charges, contact the Village of Burns Lake Office at 250-692-7587, or come to the office at #15 3rd Avenue.

My spouse and I jointly own our property with our children. Why are you sending more than one tax notice out? Only two names are included on each tax notice. If more than two names appear on title, the Municipality must send out more than one notice to ensure that all property owners are notified of outstanding taxes.

How do I decide where my principle residence is? It is up to the taxpayer to determine where their principle residence is located. Guidelines can be found here.

Summer cottages, rental properties, and second homes do not qualify for home owner grants.

What is the tax year; July to July or the calendar year? The tax year runs for the calendar year, January 1-December 31.

I have applied for my grant, when will I receive my rebate? Rebates are not issued. If you have applied for a grant, your gross taxes have been reduced based on the amount of the grant claimed.

Penalties

If property taxes are not paid by the due date, a 10% penalty charge will be added to the amount owing (including amounts owing for unclaimed Home Owner Grants).

Example, if the total outstanding taxes are $1,000, the penalty charged is $100, so the balance due would then be $1,100. The Village of Burns Lake has no authority to either waive or modify these penalty amounts. A payment that is one day late is subjected to the same penalty as a payment of taxes six months after the due date. It is a requirement of the Local Government Act that these penalties be added.

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