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Tax Exemptions


Permissive Property Tax Exemptions

The purpose of the District of Houston's tax exemption bylaws are to exempt properties specified in the bylaw from paying all or a portion of municipal property taxes. Properties owned by the municipality or other levels of government and used for public purposes are exempt from municipal property taxes under the Community Charter.

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.

In order for a property to be considered for exemption from taxes, the property must be eligible for an exemption under Division 6 of the Community Charter. Council of the District of Houston has adopted a Permissive Tax Exemption Policy and Application which outlines criteria and decisive factors for review of granting tax exemptions that will consistently be applied to all applications.

Current Permissive Tax Exemptions: Exemption from Taxation Bylaw No. 1061, 2017 [as amended by Bylaws No. 1071 & 1096]

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.
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