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Kamloops one of the most expensive cities in B.C. for property owners

Image Credit: ADOBE STOCK

Kamloops has the third highest tax rate of the 26 largest cities in B.C.

The four most populous cities in the Okanagan rank from sixth to eleventh place on that list.

Does that really mean Kamloops taxpayers are all that hard done by? It depends on how taxes are looked at because comparing tax rates can be done many different ways.

The Government of B.C. publishes a number of spreadsheets that contain a wealth of information on tax rates, property values and how much residents shell out versus businesses. analyzed that data for 2022 rates by looking at the 26 largest cities by population, choosing that number because Penticton ranks number 26 on that list.


At the end of 2022, the average home in B.C. sold for $996,878, according to the B.C. Real Estate Association, so that’s the number we used for one comparison.

Based on that figure, the five Thompson-Okanagan cities had between the third and 11th highest tax bills out of the 26.

Kamloops fared the worst, given that it has the third highest tax rate, it also had the third highest tax bill at $3,918.

West Kelowna came in the best on that measure with the 11th highest tax bill of $2,646.

The highest tax bill of the 26 cities for an average priced house was Prince George at $5,740. The lowest bill was in Mission at $1,260.

Those figures are just the amount collected by cities for their own use and do not include taxes for things like regional districts, hospitals, schools and utilities. It also doesn’t take into account the homeowner grant most property owners qualify for.


The average price for a home in Kamloops, on the other hand, is much lower than the provincial average.

The tax tables record that average at $631,269, meaning the bill for city taxes only was $2,841 in Kamloops.

On that measure, Kamloops doesn’t rank so poorly as 16 other cities have tax bills for average priced homes that are higher.

The tax bill for the average priced home in Penticton, Vernon and West Kelowna range from the fourth to ninth lowest in the sample. Penticton is the lowest of those three at $2,116 for the city’s share of taxes.

Kelowna comes in near the middle of the pack with the 12th lowest tax bill of $2,674 for an average home.


There are huge differences in residential property tax rates between cities.

The rate charged by the City of Prince George is the highest of the 26 cities in the sample at 5.75774 per $1,000 of assessed value. Kamloops has the third highest rate at 3.93 per $1,000.

Of the four largest Okanagan cities, West Kelowna had the lowest tax rate at 2.65459. That still ranks it as the eleventh most expensive city in the sample. Kelowna comes in at tenth, Vernon is seventh and Penticton has the sixth highest tax rate in the sample at 3.1154.


Businesses and industry also pay a share of local taxes and are subject to rates at a much higher rate than what is charged on homes.

For example, the residential tax rate in Kamloops is 3.93 per $1,000 of assessed value versus 12.54 for business, 16.4 to 16.8 from industry and 57.74 from utilities.

Of the 26 cities in the sample, income from residential taxes ranges from a low of 50% in Burnaby to a high of 93% in West Vancouver.

In Kamloops, 64% of property taxes come from residential owners, 26% from business, 5% from utilities, 3% from major industrial and 2% from light industrial.

In Kelowna, it’s 69% from residents, 27% from business and 2% each from light industrial and utilities.

Penticton is 74% residential, 22% business, and 2% each from light industrial and utilities.

Vernon gets 66% of its taxes from residents, 30% from business and 2% each from light industrial and utilities.

West Kelowna is much more reliant on residential taxpayers, at 85%. It gets only 10% of its revenue from business and 2% each from light industry and utilities.


Given that business do make up a significant proportion of taxes, another measure found in the government data tables is the per capita cost of taxes.

By that measure, Kamloops comes out as the ninth most expensive city in the sample at $1,256 per person.

Kelowna was the 14th most expensive at $1,179, Vernon was 16th at $1,140 and Penticton was 18th at $1,062.

West Kelowna was the 21st most expensive on the list at $1,032. Put another way, only five cities had per capita taxes lower than West Kelowna.

The cheapest community in all of B.C. for per capita taxes is Warfield, at $505 while Tumbler Ridge is the most expensive at $4,162.

Provincial data tables can be seen here. Look for schedules 702, 703, 704 and 707.

To contact a reporter for this story, email Rob Munro or call 250-808-0143 or email the editor. You can also submit photos, videos or news tips to the newsroom and be entered to win a monthly prize draw.

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