The Parcel Tax Assessment Notices have been arriving in the mail the week of April 4th, 2016 and property owners would like to know what it is and why they got a letter. Some of the key points to know:
- The Parcel Tax applies to every property in Lake Country and is the SAME for every property in Lake Country
- It specifically will go to roads improvements and upgrades in the Transportation for Tomorrow program
- It will show up on the property tax notice as a specific line item for $125 for Road Renewal and Improvement
- The letter is just the legal way that we have to tell tax payers about this parcel tax they will see on their tax notice
What is the Transportation for Tomorrow Funding Model all about?
Council has made a decision to implement a hybrid funding model over the next four years that includes a $125 parcel tax to every property starting in 2016.
- Our community owns nearly 200 kilometres of roads at an estimated replacement value of $100,000,000 – that’s nearly $25,000 per house!
- The annual shortfall to take care of what we currently own is $1.5 million.
- Council is committed to allocating the financial resources for the 20-year $30 million backlog in maintenance, renewal and improvement; and debated the various funding options over two months of meetings.
- Council voted to raise the funds necessary through taxation and use $350,000 from the gas tax grant.
- The funding model includes starting with a $125 parcel tax for every property in 2016 (anticipated to continue for 20 years) and then adding property tax increases of up to a maximum of $1.83% in each of the next three years – which equates to approximately $35 per average property assessed at $500,000.
- It was a difficult decision to make because no one in the community has unlimited resources, but we have to start paying for the roads infrastructure we have now and need in the future for our growing community.
What is being done with the money?
The $125 Parcel Tax goes towards Transportation for Tomorrow projects. It will show up as a line item on the property tax notice as “Road Renewal & Improvement Parcel Tax”. Signage will be placed at each Transportation for Tomorrow construction project that is done using this funding.
Are there any properties exempt from this parcel tax?
Properties like churches and non-profits that currently receive a ‘permissive tax exemption’ will also be subject to the parcel tax for Transportation for Tomorrow projects. The Parcel Tax is a tax per property for a service.
The parcel tax only applies to areas where land is held. Docks that have individual roll numbers and improvements with no land are not subject to the parcel tax.
Is there an option to opt out?
No. There is no option to opt out of the Parcel Tax.
What is the process for complaining about, or opposing the parcel tax?
Before a parcel tax is imposed for the first time, a Parcel Tax Roll Review Panel must consider complaints about the parcel tax. The only grounds for a complaint are:
- An error or omission with a name or address on the assessment roll;
- An error or omission with the inclusion of a parcel;
- An error or omission with the taxable area or the taxable frontage of a parcel; or
- An exemption has been improperly allowed or disallowed.
When is the Parcel Tax Review Panel meeting and what is the deadline for sending in a written complaint?
The Review Panel will meet at 6:00 pm Thursday, April 21 in the Council Chambers at Lake Country Municipal Hall. The District must receive notice of any complaint in writing from the property owner or their agent before 4:30pm Friday, April 15, 2016 sent to the attention of the District of Lake Country Collector, 10150 Bottom Wood Lake Road, Lake Country, BC, V4V 2M1
For more detailed information about the funding model for Transportation for Tomorrow, as well as priorities for roads to be renewed and upgraded, please visit the Transportation for Tomorrow webpage.