Slicing up the property tax pie

Revelstoke City Hall often takes the heat for the tax bill, but did you know about 44 per cent of the total doesn't go to them?

Where do your taxes go? Every year, all the attention centres on the city tax rates and how much they’ve gone up. However, the city rates are only a portion of property tax bill. The city also collects library taxes, school taxes, hospital taxes, regional district taxes and funds for the Municipal Finance Authority and BC Assessment Authority.

In 2012, the city portion of your property taxes made up about 56 per cent of your total tax bill. The next biggest chunk is school taxes, which make up 32 per cent of the bill. However, the city portion of the tax bill has been steadily increasing, from 52 per cent in 2008 to 56 per cent last year.

Note that these numbers are based on the mill rate and not actual tax dollars, which depends on property value. They also don’t include sewer and water rates.

For businesses, city taxes made up 68 per cent of the tax bill in 2012, with 24 per cent going towards schools, and the rest divided up fairly evenly amongst other targets. The mill rates has decrease slightly since 2008, but the portion going to the city has stayed about the same.

Major industry, which is just Downie Timber, has seen its mill rate decrease by more than 40 per cent from 2008 to 2012. 71 per cent of Downie’s property tax bill goes to the province, 19 per cent to the city and the rest to the library, hospitals and regional district.

Light industry has seen its mill rate decrease slightly over the past five years. 72 per cent of its tax bill goes to the city and 19 per cent to the schools – numbers that are mostly unchanged in the past five years.