Explanation of the 2009 property tax mix-up

Update 11 June 2010: Area F residents outside of Faulder should notice that the mill rates for "Area F OK_Simil. Reg" and "Area F Tax on Bldgs" have gone down significantly in 2010 (relative to 2009).  This is the "adjustement" that the provincial government promised us.  If you did not notice the impact of the adjustment on your taxes, it might be because RDOS taxes are a relatively small part of your overall bill.  See a more detailed discription of rural taxes.


ImageAs noted in a previous posting, there was a bit of a mix-up with property taxes in Area F in 2009.  The RDOS does not collect its own property taxes.  Instead, the RDOS sends a requisition to the Surveyor of Taxes (part of the Provincial government), they collect the money for local property taxes plus school taxes, etc., take a cut, and send the RDOS the requested amount.

Taxes in 2009 seemed a bit wonky; however, upon double-checking, RDOS financial staff confirmed that we requisitioned the correct amount of money from the Surveyor of Taxes and received the correct amount of money in return.  So tracking down the problem was difficult.  RDOS staff finally figured it out, however.  Below is an (edited) explanation from the Province.  Bottom line:

  • Rural Penticton residents are going to pay less tax in 2010 because they overpayed in 2009
  • Rural Summerland residents are going to pay more tax in 2010 because they did not pay any RDOS tax in 2009

Hopefully, a letter will be sent out by the Surveyor of Taxes to all residents of Area F in the near future.  In the mean time, the mix-up could be an issue if you are buying or selling property in 2009-2010.  The tax mix-up will have to be dealt with during conveyancing—you should probably give your lawyer a heads-up...

What the Surveyor of Taxes has told the RDOS:

RDOS Electoral Area F occurs in 2 tax jurisdictions – 715 rural Penticton (West Bench, Sage Mesa, Westwood Properties, Husula, etc.) and 777 rural Summerland (Faulder, North Beach, etc.).  The 2009 rural levy should have been charged to both areas but due to our error, it was levied against jurisdiction 715 only.

The correct residential levy for 2009 should have been $0.6110/$1000 for land and improvements and $0.1274/$1000 for improvements only.  The actual levies in 715 were $0.8665 and 0.1686 respectively, and $0.0000 for both levies in 777.  There are 619 residential properties with an average assessed value of $527,000 in 715, and 274 residential properties with an average assessed value of $413,000 in 777, so the net impact is that the average residential property in 715 paid $144 too much, and the average residential property in 777 did not pay $270.

We may get some suggestions that taxpayers want this fixed now, but given that any correction of this nature takes several weeks of testing prior to fixing in production, and we are about to start 2010 levy production at the end of December, the timing is too tight to get this done.  Fixing the error in 2010 will give us time to plan properly, and to notify property owners in the region of the pending impacts.  The downside of fixing in 2010 is that there may be some distortions in circumstances where ownership has changed between 2009 and 2010, or where an owner has significant new construction in 2010.  Hopefully these impacts will be very few in number, and I see no other options that would work in this circumstance.




While you may consider it simpler to fix a 2009 mistake in 2010, homeowners who have paid additional funds and received no credit for doing so may think otherwise. A mistake of this kind needs to be remedied in the current year for a multitude of reasons, a few of which were mentioned above. Whether those impacts are "few in number" is irrelevant: the mistake was made and some people were overcharged and some were undercharged. People paid the wrong amount of tax, through no fault of their own. This could be recognized and official statements issued to the affected taxpayers, showing the amount of credit owing to or amounts due from them. In that manner, at least the adjustments could be properly calculated and homeowners would know where they stood. If property was changing hands, refunds could be issued to the owners who paid them, or have the figures adjusted by the lawyers at the sale date. The "significant new construction" would be a non-issue, as calculations would be done for the 2009 year (as they should have been) and separately for the 2010 year.

Unfortunately the RDOS has little control over this issue, including whether it is fixed in the current taxation year.  I encourage you to follow up with

if you have concerns.

The foregoing about the mixup by the provincial Surveyor of Taxes does not apply to residents of Red Wing.  Red Wing is on Penticton Indian Band (PIB) land and the PIB is now (starting in 2009) responsible for collecting taxes from all households on its lands (see the PIB taxation site: http://www.pib.ca/taxation.html).  The PIB uses the money it collects through taxation to pay the RDOS for all services provided by the RDOS to Red Wing residents.

The Red Wing taxation picture is complicated by confusion over the assessment process. BC Assessment does the assessments on behalf of the PIB. BCA made some unfortunate generalizations about valuation comparables, leading to considerable volume of appeals this year. The general decrease in property values but increase in land values did not stand up consistently to examination. As a result BCA is having to deal with a number of appeals. However they will not be dealt with in time to affect the 2010 Property Tax notices that we await from PIB. So we will see how the Taxation notices are received...

Yes, there seems to be some problems with assessment consistency in Red Wing.  I encourage Red Wing residents to use the Red Wing forum to compare notes.

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