Property Tax FAQs
- How are Property Taxes Calculated?
- Where can I find my Tax Account Balance?
- What Else is Billed on my Tax Notice?
- How Does my Property's Assessed Value Affect my Tax Bill?
- Where can I find a copy of the 2018 Tax Newsletter?
- How Do I Change my Mailing Address?
- What do I do about my Property Tax Notice when I sell my property?
- How Do I Change Owner Information on Property Title?
- As a New Home Owner What do I Need to Know About Paying Taxes?
How are Property Taxes Calculated?
Formula - Your property taxes are based on this formula:
Net Assessed Property Value multiplied by Property Tax Rate equals Property Tax Bill
The City collects property taxes to fund services such as recreation, parks, road infrastructure, fighting crime and fires. More information about the City budget is available online or contact the Finance Department. Additionally, revenue is collected each year through your property taxes for the following agencies:
- BC Assessment
- Municipal Finance Authority
- Fraser Valley Regional Library
- Regional Districts
- Regional Hospital District
- School District No. 34
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.
Where can I find my Tax Account Balance?
You can access your billing history through the My City Online Portal.
The Folio Number and Access Code located on your property tax notice are required to access the portal.
What Else is Billed on my Tax Notice?
- Urban Storm Drainage Fees - Urban Storm drainage fees are billed annually on the property tax notices. All properties within the service boundaries pay annual storm drainage fees. These fees are to pay for the maintenance and replacement costs associated with operating the storm sewer system. All streets within the urban development boundary are drained though some sort of storm system. All residents have access to or use these streets and benefit from the storm drainage to get around to work, school and shopping safely.
- Dyking, Drainage and Irrigation Fees - Properties in the Matsqui and Sumas Prairie boundary areas pay a separate dyking, drainage and irrigation fees for maintaining their ditching network rather than the urban storm drainage fee.
- Solid Waste Collection & Recycling Fees - Solid waste collection and recycling fees are billed annually on the property tax notices. All single family and duplex residential properties within the service boundaries are charged the curbside collection fee. Curbside collection includes recyclables, compostables and garbage for single family and duplex homes. Multi-family residential properties do not have City collection services but are charged a recycling processing fee to support processing of the recycling and education programs.
- Secondary Suite Fee - Secondary suites are defined as a portion of a single family house which is established as a separate dwelling unit and must comply with the City's zoning requirements.
How Does my Property's Assessed Value Affect my Tax Bill?
- The value of property for tax purposes is determined by BC Assessment, which is established under provincial legislation and is independent of the municipality.
- Property assessment is the determination of a property’s market value as of July 1 each year. Annually, on December 31, BC Assessment mails to each property owner, a property assessment notice, which shows the property’s market value and other important information about the property. Questions regarding property assessments should be directed to BC Assessment.
- Provincial and local governments use property assessments to determine what tax rate they must set to raise the revenue needed to pay for public services. Tax authorities set tax rates that are applied to the assessed value of properties, which is subsequently shown on your tax notice.
- You cannot appeal your taxes, but you can appeal your assessment. Review BC Assessment’s appeal process for deadlines and details.
- View property assessment information through the City’s Property Information Search.
- For more information on your assessment, contact the BC Assessment office at 1-866-825-8322 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org
Where can I find a copy of the 2018 Tax Newsletter?
Where can I Find Tax Bylaws & Rates?
- Property Tax Rates
- Tax Penalty Bylaw No. 2304-2014
- Tax Prepayment Plan Bylaw No. 1442-2005
- Tax Rates Bylaw No. 2392-2015 (includes the Matsqui Prairie Dyking Drainage and Irrigation Rates)
- Urban Storm Drainage System Fee Bylaw No. 1041-2001
- Sumas Prairie Dyking, Drainage and Irrigation District Bylaw, 2008
Are There Late Payment Penalties?
- Penalty dates are clearly printed on the property tax notice. Taxes that remain outstanding after these dates (including any unclaimed Home Owner Grant amount) are subject to penalty. View the Tax Penalty Bylaw No. 2304-2014.
- A 5% late payment penalty is applied for taxes outstanding after the first working day after July 1
- An additional 5% late payment penalty is applied for taxes outstanding after the first working day after September 15
How do I Change my Mailing Address?
Contact BC Assessment to change your mailing address through one of the following methods:
- Online by completing a Change of Address Notification form
- By telephone at 1-866-825-8322
- In person at the Fraser Valley Office located at: #240 - 31935 South Fraser Way, Abbotsford, BC
What do I do about my Property Tax Notice when I sell my property?
- Do not call the City to change your address. BC Asssessment provides address changes to municipalities.
- Change the tax account number on your financial institution's website if you pay online
- Change or Cancel your Tax Pre-payment Plan by the 8th of the month
- Pay the entire tax notice if you are the current owner on the tax due date
- Contact us to receive a tax notice if you have not received one by June
- Return a tax notice to the City that is no longer your responsibility
- Change your utility account information
- Your Lawyer or Notary handling the property sale can do the following:
- Allocate annual tax bill and advise which party claims the Home Owner Grant
- Adjust for any credit balance on the seller’s tax account on the Statement of Adjustments
- Request a final bill and allocate the utility account balance between buyer and seller
- Submit the Tax Pre-Payment Plan and Utility Auto Debit Plan cancelation request on the Tax Certificate to the City
How Do I Change Owner Information on Property Title?
Name changes are done through the BC Land Title and Survey Office.
As a New Home Owner What do I Need to Know About Paying Taxes?
- Property taxation is the most important single source of municipal revenue. Property tax notices are mailed annually at the end of May and are due the first working day after July 1 of every calendar year.
- Property owners who have not received their tax notice by the second week of June should contact the Property Tax Division at 604-864-5522.
- New property owners are responsible for payment of their annual property taxes by the due date to avoid penalty, whether or not they receive a property tax notice.
- The Property Owner's Responsibility Tax Information Sheet provides a calendar of events to help property owners prepare for, and understand, their responsibilities relating to annual property taxes.