Shocking Business Property Tax Bill This Year?
Shocking Business Property Tax Bill?
This year businesses are getting hit with two property tax issues.
First, the province is fully ending COVID-19 tax cuts made in 2020, meaning this year’s taxes are rising significantly to return to 2019 levels.
Second, as the city grows and development increases, the broken way our province values property will result in wild swings in property tax bills.
The Burnaby Board of Trade is the leading chamber of commerce pushing to fix our property tax system. But we need your help!
Why Did My Bill Go Up This Year?
Approximately 54% of your Burnaby property tax bill is used for City of Burnaby services — the rest is for other taxing authorities, including the provincial government.
A major portion of this other tax is provincial school tax. This amount was cut in 2020 due to COVID-19, a positive move by the province. The Burnaby Board of Trade had called on the province to extend that cut, at least in part, in 2021. They refused, and as a result businesses are experiencing a significant bounce-back in property taxes as that tax rate returns to its normal level.
What’s The Bigger Issue?
The larger problem with property is that they rely on the value of properties as determined by BC Assessment, which uses “Highest and Best Use” as a major factor in setting a property’s price. “Highest and Best Use” takes into account what a property could be used for, not just what it is currently used for and then taxes on that potential value.
As a result, some businesses have faced soaring property tax bills simply because the property they are located on has quickly increased in value.
The Burnaby Board of Trade has been advocating for the province to create either a Sub Class of Property or allow for Split Assessments. These solutions would separate the value of a property based on its real, current use from the redevelopment potential, allowing the “potential use” to be taxed at a much lower level. This provincial solution would address this issue once and for all.
Read all about our advocacy efforts here as we work to get this fixed for business. Plus, read BBOT President & CEO Paul Holden’s business column on this issue in the Burnaby Now, and watch GlobalBC News’ story on the impact of property assessments on local businesses, featuring the BBOT.
About Burnaby Property Taxes
The City of Burnaby collects property taxes to fund its own services and activities, and also collects taxes on behalf of various other agencies and governments including provincial school taxes, Translink taxes, and Metro Vancouver regional taxes — all of which are embedded in your one Burnaby property tax bill. This year, Burnaby City Council increased its tax rate by 2.95%. The Burnaby Board of Trade meets with Council and Finance Staff to engage on the budget process, and to ensure tax rates are competitive while also funding the programs and initiatives required.
For detailed information on City of Burnaby property taxes and utilities fees, click here.