“Property tax is a tax paid on property owned by an individual or other legal entity, such as a corporation.”

Julia Kagan, Investopedia

We all like to save money where we can, however we can, so we can put it into savings or take our loved ones on a vacation to a faraway tropical destination. One of the ways we can do this is by finding out whether or not we are exempt from property taxes. Property taxes apply to each piece of property an individual owns, and each may differ from the other, so it’s important that if you own more than one property that you investigate both for tax exemption.

For example, say you own a condo in Vancouver where you and your family live for most of the year, but you also have a summer cottage in the Okanagan that you like to escape to during the warm months. The value of these two properties are not alike and are not viewed the same. It is the job of the BC Assessment to determine the full value of the property in question, but property taxes are not based on the full value. Property taxes are based on the taxable value which can be found by taking the full value of the property and deducting any tax exemptions.

So, what is a tax exemption?

In short, a tax exemption reduces or completely waives the property tax on a given property that an individual is required to pay.

How do tax exemptions work?

Tax exemptions are based on a few things. For one, even if certain requirements are met, the jurisdiction where the property stands has the final say and can grant or deny any and all exemptions. More commonly, however, tax exemptions are based on things such as use, ownership, location, and property type. This is why it is important to check the tax exemption laws in each area where you hold a property as the criteria is not a one size fits all.

Where can I find tax exemption information?

The location of this information will be different for each person, depending on where they are from. Since 3PM is based in Vancouver, there are a couple of links below that you can follow for more information about exemptions and how property taxes work specifically to you, your home, or your business.