Downtown Revitalization Tax Exemption

1. Program Summary

  1. The Official Community Plan for the City of Chilliwack identified the revitalization of the downtown as a priority. In 2004, the Community Charter was introduced, offering a new revitalization tax exemption opportunity. As a result of this, the City of Chilliwack has established a downtown revitalization tax exemption program.

      (link to Bylaws, see 3012 Revitalization Tax Exemption Bylaw). 
  2. Council may enter into an agreement with property owners within the designated areas and upon issuance of an exemption certificate to the assessor, those improvements are exempt from municipal property value taxes for a period of time not longer than five years, and with a 50% phase-in for the 6 year.

2. Terms and Conditions

  1. Tax exemptions will only apply if there is a new improvement or an alteration of an existing improvement where the alteration has a value in excess of $200,000.

  2. Residential properties with four (4) or more dwelling units at the completion of construction or improvement could be eligible for the exemption.

  3. The assessor will determine the value of the improvement, which will also determine the value of the exemption.

  4. The maximum assessment exemption under this bylaw will be the difference between the value of the land and improvements in the year prior to the construction, and the year in which the tax certificate first applies.

  5. The assessment exemption only applies to municipal property taxes, and not to other property taxes such as School, Regional District, Regional Hospital District, BC Assessment Authority and BC Municipal Finance Authority.

  6. If the property changes classification, the new classification will determine the tax rate that will apply.

  7. Tax rate increases will still apply on the non-exempted assessment.

  8. The assessment will not be reduced below the amount of assessment in the year prior to construction.

  9. An “Application for Revitalization Tax Exemption” must be completed and received by the City of Chilliwack before October 31st in the year prior to the year in which the exemption is requested.

  10. Property owners have the option to either have a single six year certificate issued, or to have a one year interim certificate issued during the year of construction, with a further five year certificate issued the following year. If construction is nearing completion at BC Assessment’s October 31st physical condition date, then the property owner may wish to choose the one year interim certificate, and if construction has only recently begun, then they may wish to save the exemption year and wait until the next year to apply for a six year certificate.

  11. During the sixth year the assessment value will be phased back in by reducing the exemption amount by 50%. In the seventh year properties will be assessed and taxed at full value.

  12. The tax exemption program continues to apply if ownership changes within the term of the agreement.

  13. A tax exemption will be cancelled by Council if:

    1. the owner breaches any covenant or condition in the agreement
    2. The owner, or successor in title to the owner has allowed the property taxes for the property to go into arrears or to become delinquent
    3. The property is put to a use that is not permitted in the zone.

3. Tax Savings

  1. The annual estimated municipal property tax exemption per each $100,000 of assessment at the 2013 tax rates are as follows:

    1. Class 1 - Residential $476
    2. Class 6 - Business $969