aturna Island Property Owners Association
One of SIPOA’s priorities coming out of our members’ survey last fall was to take a
close look at our property taxes – what they are and what we get for them. We will
prepare a series on property taxes, digging deeper into the details as we go.
This is the first installment, which provides an overview of how our property taxes have
changed over the past 10 years.
Since 2004, total property taxes levied on Saturna have increased from $811,000 to
$1,381,000, an increase of 70%. Or, put another way, our property taxes have
increased 6 times the rate of inflation.
To answer this question, we started by grouping the various tax levies into three levels
of government based on who requests the tax monies (see Appendix A for “How your
property taxes are calculated”).
aturna Island Property Owners Association
• Provincial: Levies requested by the Province for province wide services
• Regional: Levies requested by the CRD and the Islands Trust for services in
CRD’s Area G and the Islands Trust area
• Local: Levies requested and controlled by local authorities on Saturna
In 2013, the $1.38 million of property taxes levied on Saturna was made up of:
• 56% or $773,000 of Provincially controlled taxes
• 27% or $373,000 of Regionally controlled taxes
• 17% or $235,000 of Locally controlled taxes
The graph below shows how these three categories of taxes have grown compared to
CPI over the past ten years. It shows that locally controlled taxes have increased the
most and have more than doubled since 2004. Regionally controlled taxes have
doubled in the same period while provincially controlled taxes have “only” increased
30% faster than CPI.
All levels of property taxes have increased above inflation, some because of increased
population (provincial taxes) and others because of improved services. It is clear from
the graph above that the largest increases stem from regional and local taxes and in the
following installments of this Property Tax series we will explore each one in detail to
examine why the increase and what services we, as property owners on Saturna, get.
In 2013 $1,381,108 was levied in property taxes on Saturna. The graph below shows
that amount broken down by taxing authority.
Provincially Set Levies
• School Tax: Levied by the Province for education services and school facilities.
• General Rural Tax: Levied by the Province to build and maintain rural roads.
• Police Tax: Levied by the Province to pay for police services.
• BC Assessment Authority: Levied by the Province to pay for property
assessments. This Crown Corporation assesses the value of all properties in the
Province of BC. Most property taxes are based on the assessed value of your
property. The Assessment Authority is responsible for hearing appeals from
property owners with respect to the value attached to their property – their
website is www.bcassessment.bc.ca
• Municipal Financing Authority: Levied by the Province to pay for this special
agency, which borrows on behalf of all local governments in BC.
• CRD Hospital Tax: Levied by the Province for funding up to 40% of the cost of
capital equipment and projects at hospitals within the CRD. The Vancouver
Island Health Authority (VIHA) is responsible for delivering health care services
on Vancouver Island and advises the Regional District on their capital
requirements. VIHA pools both Provincial and Regional District funding with
other sources such as foundations etc. to maintain, improve and build health
Regionally Set Levies
• CRD Area G: Levied by CRD for “general services” such as water, recycling and
• Islands Trust: Levied by the Islands Trust for local land use planning services.
• SGI Harbour Commission: A parcel tax (not based on property assessment)
levied by CRD to manage docks in the SGI.
Locally Set Levies
• Saturna Fire: The tax rate is set by referendum on Saturna, taxes collected by
the CRD and given to Saturna Island Fire Protection Society to manage fire
protection on the island.
• Saturna Parks and Rec: Based on the annual budget determined by the
Saturna Parks & Rec Commission for managing CRD parks and recreational
activities on Saturna.
The Surveyor of Taxes collects property taxes from properties outside of municipal
boundaries, such as from properties in the Capital Regional District. Each year the
amount of property taxes is determined as follows:
1. The taxing authority (CRD, Islands Trust, the Province etc.) approves a budget
for the coming year and this becomes the “tax requisition”.
2. The authority sends its “tax requisition” to the Surveyor of Taxes.
3. The BC Assessment Authority provides assessment information to the Surveyor
4. The Surveyor of Taxes divides the property values attached to each service into
the requested “tax requisition” which results in the tax rate (also called mill rate)
on your property tax notice.