It’s better to live in Kelowna than Kamloops if you want a smaller property tax bill - InfoNews

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It’s better to live in Kelowna than Kamloops if you want a smaller property tax bill

June 06, 2020 - 3:02 PM

With many people strapped for cash due to COVID-19, Kelowna residents may be able to gloat a little knowing they will be paying hundreds of dollars less residential property tax than someone with a house of the same value in Kamloops.

If someone has a home worth $500,000 in Kelowna they will pay $800 less in municipal taxes than a person with a home of the same value in Kamloops.

But cities don’t just collect a base municipal tax. The Kelowna resident will also pay $29 less to the regional district, $84 less for the hospital and $188 less for schools. In all, the base tax bill for a $500,000 house in Kelowna is $1,110 less than in Kamloops.

That’s just the base taxes. There are other things on the tax bills that are harder to compare between different cities, such as garbage collection, water, sewer and a number of other fees. Some cities also collect parcel taxes.

Some cities have on-line tax calculators but they may include different things and often don’t give detailed breakdowns so accurate comparisons are difficult. iNFOnews.ca broke out the key numbers: municipal, school, hospital and regional district taxes on the standard fee all cities pay to B.C. Assessments.

The numbers below will be lower for those who qualify for the provincial homeowner’s grant. Garbage collection, water, sewer and other fees will also affect the final bill.

Despite the fact the Kelowna residents may pay lower taxes on a $500,000 home, residents of other cities can take comfort in the fact that their $500,000 home is likely bigger or newer than the one in Kelowna.

The average value of a Kelowna home last year was about $629,000, according to B.C. Assessments. The other cities ranged in value from about $400,000 to $470,000.

"Many factors and steps in the budget process contribute to the calculation of the tax rate," is the only response iNFOnews.ca got from Cara Dawson, Kamloops' revenue and taxation manager, when she was asked, by email, why the tax rates were so different.

Normally, if taxes are not paid by July 2, a 10 per cent late payment fee is tacked. Because of COVID-19, most cities have extended the time before the penalty will kick in to at least the end of August. They are asking that people who can afford to pay on time do so.

Municipal, regional district, hospital and school taxes along with B.C. Assessment fees for a home valued at $500,000 will amount to:

  • $3,957.25 – Kamloops
  • $2,975.37 – Vernon
  • $2,922.00 – Penticton
  • $2,643.02 – Kelowna
  • $2,629.21– West Kelowna
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