How is the municipal property tax calculated?

Each year, every city does its budget process, and determines how much revenue it will need in order to provide the services, accounting for such cost increases as inflation, increased regulation, and downloading of increased responsibilities from senior governments. Taking all that into account, each city sets its budgeted spending.

In British Columbia and other Canadian provinces, cities are required to collect their needed taxes based on property value (called "assessment") as established by BC Assessment Authority (BCAA), a provincial agency. Early in the new year, BCAA provides the valuation of all the properties in the province.

After the City sets its budgeted expenditures and once BCAA provides those values, the City’s tax division can set the municipal Tax Rate. The Tax Rate (often called the "mill rate"), when multiplied by the total value of all the property, will equal the total revenue needed to be collected from that class of property (residential, commercial, industrial, etc.).