1. When are property tax notices mailed?
Property Tax Notices are mailed no later than the first week in June. Property Tax Notices are mailed to all owners listed and registered with the BC Assessment Authority as at the time of printing.
2. When are property taxes due?
2015 property taxes, Home Owner Grant applications and Tax Deferment applications will be due July 3rd, 2015. (The annual due date is always the first business day in July.)
3. What if I did not receive my property tax notice?
If you are the registered owner of a White Rock property and you did not receive your tax notice by the end of the first week in June, you can contact the Financial Services department at 604-541-2100 or visit us at City Hall, 15322 Buena Vista Avenue, White Rock. New owners should be prepared to provide proof of title transfer in order to receive tax information and must note the title transfer number beside their signature when completing the Home Owner Grant application.
4. What happens if property taxes go unpaid?
The City's Tax Bylaw requires a 5% penalty be imposed on any current property taxes that remain outstanding after the July due date and again after August 15th. This bylaw does not give the City authority to waive late penalty charges and is applied consistently to all taxpayers.
If the completed Home Owner Grant application and/or Tax Deferment application are not received by the due dates, the amounts will be considered unpaid taxes and all penalties will apply.
Failure of an intermediary such as a bank, Canada Post, a lawyer or notary to remit a payment or a grant application on behalf of an 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 at a rate set three times a year by the Province.
If taxes remain unpaid at the end of three years, the property is publicly auctioned at Tax Sale to recover the taxes owing.
5. Why have my property taxes increased?
The following may be some of the factors that affect the amount of your tax bill:
- increase in the general tax rate
- increase in other taxing authorities' tax rates
- increase in assessed value of property
- greater increase in assessed value of property compared to the average increase in assessed values City-wide
6. Why is my tax increase higher than the Council approved rate?
Council approves the general levy for the entire City'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 to the media.
If every property value assessment in the City 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 even if the net average is an increase. If BC Assessment reports the average residential assessment increased by 10%, but your own assessment went up 20%, it is 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%.
Differences in assessed values are not the only variable though. Another factor is that the City of White Rock collects taxes on behalf of other groups (Schools, Translink, BC Assessment, the Regional District and the Municipal Finance Authority). These organizations develop their own budgets outside of the City's control. The rate passed by Council is only for the General Municipal Tax line that appears on your notice.
7. What are my payment options?
- online banking and telephone banking through your financial institution
- in person at your financial institution
- by mail to 15322 Buena Vista Avenue, White Rock, V4B 1Y6
- drop box - located to the left of the main doors at City Hall
- in person at City Hall (Financial Services department) during business hours 8:30 am to 4:30 pm
8. Why can I not pay with my credit card?
Credit cards are not accepted for tax payments. The City strives to find a good balance between providing good customer service and being accountable for taxpayer dollars. The credit card service charges would be an additional operating expense and would have to be paid from property tax revenues, reducing the available funds to operate other services within the City.
9. Can I pay my taxes in installments?
Yes, but as a prepayment only, through the City's Pre-Authorized Prepayment Plan (PAPP).
10. How does the Pre-Authorized Prepayment Plan (PAPP) work?
Monthly payments will be collected on the first day of each months for 10 months starting August 1st and ending May 1st. There are no withdrawals for the months of June and July.
At the beginning of June, tax notices are mailed to property owners. The notice has details of your current year's taxes LESS the total prepayments collected. You are responsible for paying any difference, as well as applying for the Home Owner Grant by the tax due date to avoid any penalties.
Your written authorization is required to start, change or withdraw from the plan. The written notification must be received, along with a void cheque, 10 business days prior to the next scheduled payment. You can withdraw from the plan at anytime. The application forms are available at City Hall or online in under Prepayment Plan.
PLEASE NOTE: Existing participants will continue to have their installments automatically withdrawn from their bank account each year unless the City is notified otherwise. You do NOT need to submit another application. The installment amount for the new tax year is noted on your current year's tax notice and will be automatically updated commencing August 1st.
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