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Infrastructure &
Finance Division
 

Tax Bylaws

 

Circular No. 11:11
ARCS File#: 195-20

 


Three times a year, the Ministry of Community, Sport and Cultural Development (Ministry) sends the attached circular to those improvement districts using taxation as a means to generate revenue. These circulars set out the interest rate that must be used when calculating the amount owing on taxes in arrears. The circulars are also published on the Ministry’s website at: http://www.cscd.gov.bc.ca/lgd/infra/financial_circulars/interest_arrears.htm

The circulars contain a reminder that an improvement district tax bylaw must be registered with the Inspector of Municipalities (Inspector) each year whether or not there are any changes from the previous year. The tax bylaw does not come into effect until it is registered with the Inspector.

Some improvement districts have failed to send their taxation bylaw to the Inspector prior to the date when its taxes are due. The consequences of this delay are that the improvement district cannot rely on the legislation as its authority to collect taxes. This means that landowners cannot be compelled to pay the tax, the penalty addition, or any interest on the amount in arrears. In addition, if the property owner does not pay their taxes within 24 months, the improvement district cannot proceed with a tax sale.

The only solution to this situation is for the board of trustees to pass another taxation bylaw with a later due date and submit it for registration with the Inspector. This could impact cash flow for the improvement district and confuse landowners who will have to be sent a second tax notice when they may have already paid their taxes for the year. To avoid this situation, it is recommended that corporate officers ensure that the annual budget is prepared several months in advance of the taxation due date and the tax rate determined. The taxation bylaw can then be drafted for consideration at the next board meeting. The adoption of the tax bylaw should take place at least two months prior to the due date to allow sufficient time for the bylaw to be mailed to the Ministry and processed for registration. All bylaws should be sent to the Ministry immediately on passage by the trustees.

Corporate officers should ensure that the board of trustees and support staff are all aware of this information. Do not collect taxes without a registered bylaw.

Please also note that in the interest section of the bylaw, the interest rate in the attached circular may only start to be calculated for taxes remaining unpaid as of MARCH 1 of the year next following. This date is set in legislation and may not be varied in your bylaw.

If you have any questions, please contact your Finance Officer at the Ministry.


“Original signed by”

Glen Brown
Deputy Inspector of Municipalities

Attachment



 

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