Property Tax Exemption – City of Coquitlam

20 07 2009

By: Arita Liu

Considering that our Giving Circle Model is dedicated to housing homeless individuals, we looked into municipal bylaws and property tax regulations to find if we are eligible for property tax exemption. Following is what we found about City of Coquitlam tax exemption procedure.

City of Coquitlam Council considers property tax exemptions on an annual basis for properties that provide some general public benefit or good. The general procedure is as follows:

  • Applications for permissive property tax exemption should be submitted before the end of August to be considered for exemption in the next calendar year. Information supporting the application should include:

What type of benefit the organization provides to the community;

Whether the programs and services benefit primarily Coquitlam residents;

Whether programs and services are accessible to Coquitlam residents;

Any other information that the applicant feels may support their request;

  • The City Clerk will acknowledge the receipt of applications for permissive exemption by mail and advise the applicant of the timeline for consideration.
  • The application will be reviewed to ensure that:

The exemption is allowed under the enabling legislation where applicable;

The organization are considered as a non-profit or charitable organization;

The organization is operating consistently with City policies and bylaws;

  • All applicants will be provided with an opportunity to address Council at a formal meeting with respect to their request for an exemption.
  • Vacant properties will not be considered for permissive property tax exemptions.
  • Properties under construction will not be considered for a permissive property tax exemption until construction is complete and occupancy is issued.
  • Residential buildings not used for public worship (i.e. manse or a rectory) located on church property shall be taxable including a portion of the property surrounding the residential building equal to the size of an average city lot.
  • After the application deadline the City Clerk will prepare a Report to Council which provides information on all the applications received. Once direction is received from Council the City Clerk will prepare the annual tax exemption bylaw.
  • After Council has adopted the annual tax exemption bylaw the City Clerk will advise applicants of the decision on their application.
  • It is the applicants responsibility to ensure compliance with the Assessment Act and it is the British Columbia Assessment Authority’s responsibility to review the use of the properties in accordance with the Assessment Act.

(Bylaw No. 4013, 2009.  A Bylaw to adopt 2009 to 2013 Financial Plan)




4 responses

22 07 2009

I could definitely see my husband and I get involved with something like this,
provided other conditions like tenant agreement and the proper tenant.
If city hall provides some relief on utilities bill like this. It would be great, as
I would be willing to consider such an investment.
It is a tragic issue about the homelessness in the DTES and the surrounding communities.
All the best on your project and keep up the good work!


23 07 2009

Hi Jesse, thank you very much for your warm message. It is so important for us to know that you are interested in and actually would like to get involved. We will keep working on this project and look for opportunities to make it a truly helpful model in the community.
Thanks again.

24 07 2009

Hey, its great that you guys have researched so much into trying to reduce utility bills and other property payments to help reduce to high costs that are keeping so many people homeless. It’s so unfortunately that the process of applying for creation of these subsides is such a long and winding process. Since these guidelines are from the City of Coquitlam, I will assume that’s where you intend to house the homeless victims, but why Coquitlam and not somewhere closer to the DTES?

24 07 2009
Hannah Kim

Hello, thank you for your question and comments.

The DTES certainly has the highest number of homeless residents in Metro Vancouver. We have found out, however, that the Tri-Cities has been experiencing the highest rate of increase in homelessness in the Lower Mainland for the past few years. This was very intriguing in selecting a geographic area that would be small enough to test out a pilot project. If the pilot becomes successful in the Tri-Cities, we would certainly like to expand the model to other areas of Metro Vancouver, including the DTES.

Thank you again,

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