Permissive Property Tax Exemptions
The Community Charter gives Council the authority to grant tax exemptions for properties used by various not-for-profit organizations that provide services that align with the purposes of the municipality. The goal is to provide support for not-for-profits that provide services or programs that benefit the residents of Houston or compliment services offered by the District of Houston, as a more cost-effective way of delivering enhanced services to the community.
Other properties are generally exempted only for buildings and the land directly beneath the footprint of the building. However, it has been Council’s practice to also provide permissive tax exemptions to all of the land surrounding these types of properties.
Properties that meet eligibility criteria for exemption under the Community Charter (gov.bc.ca) may apply to Council through the Permissive Tax Exemption Policy and Application by July 31st of each year to be considered for the tax exemption in the following year.
Current Permissive Tax Exemptions: Exemption from Taxation Bylaw No. 1157, 2022 to Amend Bylaw No. 1061
Commercial Area Revitalization Tax Exemptions
The District has established an exemption program for the purposes of revitalizing its commercial areas. Property owners may be eligible for an exemption under this program for the following purposes:
- under the New Construction Program for projects with a construction value of at least $50,000 which:
- result in a new principal building being constructed on a vacant parcel of land; or
- result in the construction of a new principal building following the demolition of an existing principal building.
- under the Capital Renovation Program for projects with a construction valuue of at least $10,000 which involves:
- aesthetic improvements to the exterior of the building which are visible from the front parcel line and comply with the Downtown Development Permit Area Guidelines;
- improvements to building accesses and exits (including interior renovations) which bring the building into compliance with accessibility standards under the BC Building Code; and
- an addition to an existing building which increases the amount of commercial floor space available.
An exemption under the New Construction Program
is for a duration of ten years, with a 100% exemption applied to the municipal portion of property taxes in the first and second year following issuance of an exemption certificate, decreasing to a 50% exemption in years 3 to 5, and decreasing to a 25% exemption for the remainder of the exemption period.
An exemption under the Capital Renovation Program
is for a duration of up to three years depending on the amount invested into the Capital Renovation Project as follows:
- projects with a construction value of $10,000 to $50,000 will be granted a 30% exemption from the municipal portion of property taxes for a period of one year;
- projects with a construction value of $50,001 to $100,000 will be granted a 30% exemption from the municipal portion of property taxes for a period of two years;
- projects with a construction value of $100,001 to $200,000 will be granted a 30% exemption from the municipal portion of property taxes for a period of three years; or
- projects with a construction value greater than $200,000 will be granted a 40% exemption from the municipal portion of property taxes for a period of three years.
A Revitalization Tax Exemption is subject to a proponent meeting certain conditions specified in Commercial Area Revitalization Tax Exemption Bylaw No. 1120, 2019
. If you are intending to apply to the program, we encourage you to speak with the Director of Finance
for further information.