What are rural property taxes?

Rural property taxes are a form of property taxes, collected from homeowners living in rural areas of BC.  Like property taxes collected in towns or cities, they are collected each year to help pay for a number of services such as:

  • police and fire protection
  • emergency rescue services
  • road construction and maintenance
  • garbage services
  • recreation and community centres
  • parks
  • libraries
  • schools
  • hospitals

A homeowner with property in a town or city might pay their property taxes to that town or city, but rural property owners pay their taxes to the Province each year.

What if I don’t have these services in my rural area?

Even if you do not have many of these services in your immediately surrounding area, the rural property taxes you pay each year will be used to pay for provincial services such as policing or schools.

This is because you may be using those services (such as hospitals) in other areas if you need them, but also because we have agreed as a society to help pay for things like schools even if we don’t directly use those services, as a way to better our communities.

For example, if you live in a rural area, with no hospital nearby, but you get cancer, you will still need to use the services of a hospital for your care. That hospital may be in a different community from where you live, but you are still using those services.

When are rural property taxes due each year?

Generally, rural property taxes are due on July 3rd of each year (or the first working day of July each year).

Can I get a discount off my rural property taxes?

There are discounts (called a rural home owner grant) for individuals who qualify.

For example, if you want to apply for the senior’s home owner grant on a rural property, you must:

  • be the registered owner of the home
  • be a Canadian citizen or permanent resident of Canada
  • live in BC
  • live in the property as your principal residence
  • be 65 years or older

If you miss applying for the home owner grant, you may incur penalties for the unpaid amount of your taxes.

Do I have to pay my rural property taxes each year?


If you are having difficulty paying for your rural property taxes, though, you can see if you are eligible for the deferral program.

The deferral program isn’t an exemption, however, it just means that if you qualify, you will have a charge put on title to your property that says the taxes will be deferred until such time as you sell your property.

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