The City of Prince Rupert has the highest mill rates, the determining factor in residential and business property taxes, in northwest B.C.
The Northern View examined the mill rates of Prince Rupert, Terrace, Kitimat, Smithers and Prince George based on information publicly available through municipal websites. The numbers clearly show Prince Rupert has the highest mill rate for both home and business owners.
Residentially, the City of Prince Rupert begins with a municipal levy of $9.04575 per 1,000 of taxable value, which is higher than three of the other community’s total tax rate. When levies from the Skeena – Queen Charlotte Regional District, Skeena – Queen Charlotte Regional Hospital District, Northwest Regional Hospital District, school taxes, the Municipal Finance Authority and the BC Assessment Authority are included, the final number sits at $13.94518.
That number is well above Prince Rupert’s neighbouring cities with a population over 5,000 and is higher than the mill rate in Prince George. In Terrace the municipal levy is $5.97 per 1,000 and total tax rate is $6.71; in Kitimat the municipal levy is $2.1067 per $1,000 with a total rate of $6.9936 plus $527; in Smithers the municipal levy is $3.144538 per $1,000 with a total tax rate of $9.8184270. Prince George, the self-proclaimed Capital of Northern B.C., has a general levy of $6.70993 and a total tax rate of $12.20490.
The tax rate facing business owners in Prince Rupert is also well above neighbouring communities.
In fact, the municipal levy of $28.13763 per $1,000 of taxable value, is higher than the total tax rate in both Prince George and Kitimat and just below the total charged in Smithers. When the associated levies are considered, the total tax rate for businesses sits at $37.2829 per $1,000.
In neighbouring Terrace, the municipal levy is $26.440 per $1,000 of taxable value and the total tax rate sits at $30.73 per $1,000; Smithers has the lowest municipal levy at 11.515938 per $1,000 but other levies raise the total to $28.375; and in Kitimat the municipal levy is $14.6388 per $1,000 but the total tax rate is the lowest in the region at $24.0535 per $1,000. Prince George actually has the second lowest tax rate among communities examined, with a total business mill rate of $24.66366 per $1,000 of taxable value.
These numbers are based on 2013, but at least one municipality is likely to lower their mill rate even further in 2014.
“With increased assessments, I anticipate these will go down in 2014,” said Terrace director of finance Ron Bowles.