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Tax Structure and Incentives


Tax Structures

The Canadian and British Columbian economies rank amongst the most open and tax friendly business environments in the world. Specific information regarding current business tax structures and rates can be found at the Invest In British Columbia Website.

Although difficult to accurately compare, British Columbia generally ranks in the top three lowest taxed provinces and territories in Canada. Personal and corporate tax rates for both federal and provincial levels can be found at the Canada Revenue Agency website.

Business Incentives

In order to help ensure success, a large number of business incentives are available for new and existing businesses. Incentives are available from both the provincial and federal governments.

At the federal level, business development information can be located at the Industry Canada Website.

Business incentive information within British Columbia is included at the Government Incentive Programs in BC Website.

Business Facade Improvement Program

The District is proud to partner with Northern Development Initiative Trust to offer the Business Facade Improvement Program for eligible Houston businesses located in the commercial downtown area. This program provides annual grant funding for local governments to enhance economic development by encouraging private sector investment in business facade improvements. Eligible businesses can access the Application Form

This program is administered by Houston's Economic Development Officer, Maureen Czirfusz, through the Houston & District Chamber of Commerce. For more information about this and other business development programs, contact Maureen at 250-8457640 or email manager@houstonchamber.ca. Information about the program is also available on Northern Development Initiative Trust's Website.

Commercial Area Revitalization Tax Exemptions

In 2019, the District adopted the Commercial Area Revitalization Tax Exemption Bylaw No. 1120 which established two revitalization tax exemptions for commercial development and downtown revitalization that may apply to commercial properties in the Revitalization Area.

Renovation Tax Exemption Program

The purpose of this program is to provide incentives for business and property owners to encourage the revitalization of commercial areas and increase community accessiblity. The following projects may be considered eligible for this program:

  • aesthetic improvements to the exterior of a building, including exterior siding, lighting, doorways, windows, exterior surface treatment and structural renovations, where such aesthetic improvements are visible from the front parcel line of the parcel and have a construction value of at least $10,000.
  • improvements to accesses which improve building accessibility with a construction value of at least $10,000.
  • an addition to an existing building which increases the amount of floor space available for commercial use which has a construction value of at least $10,000.

The term of exemption for eligible products is based on the following table:

Construction Value Annual Percentage Tax Exemption on Total Class 6 Assessed Value Term of Exemption
$10,000 - $50,000 30% 1 year
$50,001 - $100,000 30% 2 years
$100,001 - $200,000 30% 3 years
Greater than $200,000 40% 3 years

Construction Tax Exemption Program

The purpose of this tax exemption program is to provide development incentives for builders and property owners. For a project to be considered eligible, it must qualify as a commercial building and be 1 of 2 different types of project:

1. A principal building on a vacant parcel of land with a construction value of $50,000 or more.

2. A demolition and reconstruction of a principal building, with a construction value of $50,000 or more.

Approved applicants may be eligible for:

Year of Tax Exemption Term Annual Percentage Tax Exemption on Assessed Value for Improvements Only
year 1-2 100%
year 3-5 50%
year 6-10 25%

If you believe that you qualify for one of these exemptions or you are interested in learning more, please contact the Director of Finance at finance@houston.ca or call the municipal office at 250-845-2238.

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