Property Taxes

Updated January 10, 2022

The District of Sooke collects taxes for both the municipality and a number of other governing agencies, such as the Capital Regional District, the Regional Hospital District, and Schools. Of the total property tax you pay, 44.8% is applied directly to municipal services. The balance and majority of property taxes collected, 55.2%, are collected on behalf of and transferred to other taxing authorities.

Property Taxation is the most important single source of municipal revenue for the District of Sooke. Provincial legislation sets out very detailed regulation of municipal taxation.

Each year, property tax notices will be mailed in late May/early June. If, after June 10th, you have not received your property tax notice, please contact the Finance Department at 250.642.1634 before the due date. It is the responsibility of the property owner to pay property taxes by the due date in order to avoid a penalty, whether or not a bill was received. New owners who have not received a property tax notice are advised to contact the Finance Department.

Council determines how much money it must raise through property taxes and, this, together with the assessed value of the taxable property determines the tax rate. Tax rates are expressed in “dollars per thousand”. Current and historical tax rate information is linked below:

Resources:

*When entering the folio number to file your home owner grant, remove the first zero:

Remove the first zero when entering your folio number to apply for the home owner grant

How property assessments relate to property tax

2022 property assessments have been mailed to all property owners in the province. According to BC Assessment, the average Sooke single residential home increased in value by 34%. Many communities across BC have experienced higher than average property assessment increases this year.

It’s important to note that a property assessment increase doesn’t necessarily result in a significant increase in property taxes. What matters is how an individual property assessment changed in comparison to the average % change in property assessments in the municipality.

Questions about your assessment should be directed to BC Assessment – their contact information is below.

  • A property owner with a larger than average property assessment increase could see an increase in their property taxes, while someone with a lower than average assessment increase could potentially experience a property tax decrease, depending on the tax rate.
  • The overall district budget is developed based on the cost of delivering services to residents. Taxes collected by the District of Sooke support fire and police services, road maintenance, parks, and administrative and bylaw services.
  • Of the property taxes collected by the District of Sooke, less than half remains with the district. The rest is collected on behalf of other taxing authorities, such as the Capital Regional District, schools, hospitals, BC Assessment, Vancouver Island Regional Library, and Municipal Finance Authority.  The district does not control these charges.
  • The District of Sooke does not determine property assessment values and cannot alter them. Property owners may appeal assessments by making an application to the BC Assessment Authority by January 31, 2022 by following the steps on the BC Assessment website or calling them toll-free at 1-866-825-8322

The following information from BC Assessment may also be helpful:

Contact BC Assessment:


What options are available to pay my 2022 taxes?

After your tax notice is received, please make payment before the July 4, 2022 due date to avoid penalties.

Online Banking through Financial Institution

Online banking through Financial Institution:
Pay online if your financial institution offers this service. Enter your folio number, minus the decimal, as your account number.

Should you choose to use this option of payment, your Home Owner Grant application must be received by July 4, 2022 or prior to avoid penalty. Home Owner Grant applications can be completed online before July 4, 2022 to avoid penalty.

In-person at District of Sooke Municipal Hall

In-Person At District of Sooke Municipal Hall:
The District of Sooke office is open Monday to Friday (excluding holidays) from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Cash, cheque and interact payments are accepted. The Municipal office will remain open until 8:00 p.m. on select dates (to be confirmed for 2022) for homeowners to make their tax payments. Please note that the Municipal office will be closed on Friday, July 1st for the Canada Day stat.

What to expect if paying in person

For the safety of residents and staff, the following safety protocols are in place:

  • Masks are required indoors and while waiting in line for entry
  • Only two persons are permitted in the foyer of the municipal hall at a time
  • Upon entry, please sanitize your hands
  • Counters and payment terminals will be sanitized after each use
  • Maintain your distance from others while waiting

Our team will assist you as quickly as possible. Your patience is greatly appreciated.

After Hours Drop-off

After Hours Drop-off
A drop box is available for non-cash payments. It is conveniently located at the entrance to the municipal hall.

Payment by Cheque

Payment by cheque
Please make your cheque payable to the DISTRICT OF SOOKE. Cheques may be postdated to July 4, 2022. Dishonoured cheques constitute non-payment of taxes and will be subject to penalty, interest and a $35.00 service charge.

Payment by Mail

Payment by mail
Payment (in Canadian dollars) must be received at the Municipal Hall by July 4, 2022. Mail early to avoid penalty. Mail lost or delayed by the post office will be subject to penalty.

Payment by Mortgage Company

Payment by Mortgage Company
Your mortgage company will show on your tax notice and they will receive your tax information directly from the District of Sooke. If you are eligible for the home owner grant you are still required to submit your application online on or before July 4, 2022 to avoid penalty.

If not already set up on a pre-authorized payment plan: You can pre-pay your 2023 property taxes on a monthly pre-authorized basis starting August 4, 2022. The Property Tax Pre-Authorized Payment Plan is an optional payment plan that provides an opportunity for taxpayers to make equal monthly payments. Payments will be processed as 10 equal payments and collected on the first business day of each month, commencing in August of the year preceding the tax due date, and ending in May of the year in which the taxes become due. An 11th payment will be withdrawn for any property taxes still owing on the due date in July.

Additional Property Tax Payment Information

Taxes in Arrears
Taxes in arrears (balance from last calendar year) are subject to interest under Provincial legislation. Properties with taxes in arrears will be sold on September 26, 2023 unless the taxes in arrear with interest are paid.

Delinquent Taxes
Taxes that are delinquent are subject to interest under Provincial Legislation. Properties with delinquent taxes will be sold on September 27, 2024 unless the delinquent taxes with interest are paid.

Interest
Interest on arrears and delinquent taxes is charged from January 1, 2023 to the date of payment. Please call the Municipal Hall at 250-642-1634 for the actual amount of interest owing.


Home Owner Grant

The Home Owner Grant is one of the property tax assistance programs offered by the province. The program began in 1957 to help homeowners reduce the amount of taxes they pay on their home. Prior to 2021, it was administered by the District of Sooke. As of January 1, 2021, the Province of British Columbia will be administering the Home Owner Grant.

Starting January 1, 2021, local governments can no longer accept retroactive or new applications for the grant and instead homeowners must go to www.gov.bc.ca/homeownergrant or call toll-free 1-888-355-2700.

LEARN MORE >>


School Taxes

The District of Sooke acts as the collection agency for school taxes. School taxes are paid to the Provincial government. The District of Sooke must pay the Province, even if the property owners do not pay their taxes. Municipalities have no control over the school tax rates. School tax rates are set by the Provincial government.


Tax Deferment Program

The British Columbia Tax Deferment Program is a low-interest loan program that may allow you to defer your annual property taxes. Tax Deferment programs are administered by the Province of British Columbia. For further information about the programs, including eligibility, please contact the Province of BC – Property Tax Deferment Programs.

Homeowners needing support to complete an application can phone 250-387-0555  or 1-888-355-2700 (toll-free).


Property Tax Information Charts

The District’s tax notice contains levies and charges for other agencies. The District is obligated to collect those taxes. Often taxpayers assume the entire amount collected belongs to the District. In fact, approximately 55% of the amounts collected on the annual tax notice are sent to other government bodies and the District has no control over the amounts collected on behalf of these other agencies.

Note: 2021 data is captured below. 2022 data for property tax by agency will be available in May

 

Your tax dollars at work: Council allocates the DIstrict budget in alignment with strategic priorities. Funds are distributed to the District’s core service areas as captured in the chart below.


Putting Sooke Residential Property Tax in Perspective

There are many variations in the services each municipality provides, so while this makes it difficult to compare, the BC Provincial Government compiles information each year to assist with putting tax rates into perspective.  

The information compares the amount a representative house” in each municipality pays in residential taxes as well as other user fees.  

The full table can be found on the BC Government website: 

www2.gov.bc.ca/gov/content/governments/local-governments/facts-framework/statistics/tax-rates-tax-burden 


Need more information?

Please contact Sooke Finance Department at finance@sooke.ca or 250.642.1634.