Finance Department FAQs

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OVERVIEW

  1. How do Regional District finances differ from municipal finances? Who pays for Regional District services?

PURCHASING

  1. I have submitted an invoice to the Regional District for payment. When will I get paid?
  2. How do I bid on contracts for Regional District work?

PROPERTY TAXES

  1. How and where do I pay my property taxes?
  2. Where do I get information on my property tax assessment?
  3. What do I do if I disagree with my property tax assessment?

UTILITY BILLS

  1. How often will I get a utility bill?
  2. How do I pay my utility bill?
  3. How are utility rates set?  Will they increase?
  4. I am the property owner and I want the bill to go to my renter
  5. What happens to unpaid utility bills?
  6. How do I disconnect and stop being billed?
  7. What if property ownership changes?
  8. I just bought a property in the Regional District and the first utility bill I received shows arrears from before I bought the property. Who is responsible for paying these arrears?
  9. Why do I pay both utility bills and utility component on my annual property taxes?
  10. My property is not connected to the utility service?  Why does it appear on my annual property taxes?
 
   

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How do Regional District finances differ from municipal finances? Who pays for Regional District services?

Regional District's operate under much the same legislation as municipalities, villages and towns, but there are differences that add complexity to budgets and financial matters. 

A property owner in a municipality pays taxes, which are pooled and used by the municipality to pay for the services within its boundaries.  Generally speaking, every property owner within municipal boundaries contributes to all municipal programs and infrastructure via these taxes regardless of where they’re offered or whether they make use of them.

Regional Districts finance services differently, with each service being required under legislation to be budgeted for and financed individually, based on its unique service area. Regional District taxpayers pay for their respective services, which may differ depending on where in the Regional District you live.  Some services take in the entire TNRD (such as the public library service), while others may take in only one or more member municipalities or electoral areas (such as most solid waste services or building inspection services), or may consist of a much smaller defined area (as is commonly the case with our water or sewer services, or transit services).

Taxes and other revenues collected for these services are not pooled, so that any funds unspent in that particular service stay with that service and go towards funding future costs of that service alone.

Services are generally financed through a combination of annual tax requisitions, user fees, government grants, savings and/or debt in the case of capital infrastructure upgrades.

I have submitted an invoice to the Regional District for payment. When will I get paid?

Our Accounts Payable department needs 15-30 business days to process an approved invoice. An approved invoice is one that displays an authorized Regional District purchase order or contract number and must be reviewed and approved by the authorizing department manager. If there is no purchase order listed on the invoice or if further authorization is required, then the process may be delayed.

How do I bid on contracts for regional district work?

The Regional District follows operational policies for the procurement of goods and services, described in Appendix “B” to Bylaw 2454 Delegation of Authority.  Under those policies, purchases of goods and services with a value exceeding $75,000 net of taxes are acquired by way of public tender process.  Where this is the case, the TNRD will advertise the opportunity in appropriate newspapers and other mediums to solicit the best response.

Goods and services with a value ranging from $25,000 to $75,000 net of taxes are acquired by administration after a process involving the invitation of three (3) bids based on known ability and experience.  Below this range of values, goods are acquired by administration on a best possible value basis using best practices for procurement.  If you are interested in being included in an invitation to bid or as a supplier otherwise, contact the Director of Finance at 250-377-8673 or finance@tnrd.ca.

How and where do I pay my property taxes?

Unlike municipalities, regional districts do not have direct taxing authority. Instead, they rely on BC’s Surveyor of Taxes to collect their taxes from property owners in the electoral areas and from member municipalities. Regional districts inform the Surveyor of Taxes and member municipalities of the amount of taxes required to meet the annual budget, which is approved by the regional board each year at the end of March. The tax money is then collected by the Surveyor of Taxes and the member municipalities and is forwarded to the regional district.

Rural taxes may be paid to the Surveyor of Taxes in the envelope provided with your Tax Notice or you can go to any government agent (Service BC) and pay your taxes directly. 

Where do I get information on my property tax assessment?

Property assessments are independently determined by the BC Assessment Authority.  Their website is http://www.bcassessment.ca/

What do I do if I disagree with my property tax assessment?

You must follow the procedures listed on your tax assessment notice for disputing assessments. 

How often will I get a utility bill?

The TNRD currently bills and collects for 11 utilities in the Regional District:  Black Pines, Blue River, Del Oro, Evergreen, Loon Lake, Maple Mission, Pritchard, Spences Bridge, Vavenby and Walhachin Water Systems, plus the Pritchard Sewer System.  The bills are sent out on a quarterly basis, in January, April, July, and October. Utilities are billed in advance, so that the January invoice is for the period January-March, and so on.  A 10% discount applies if payment is received by the TNRD on or before the discount date – generally within 30 days following the billing date.  Certain customers are billed based on water meter readings, in which case their bills reflect past usage.

How do I pay my utility bill?

Bills can be paid by debit card, cash, cheque or money order by mail or in person at the TNRD office.  Bills can also be paid online or by telephone through most banks.

If you have any questions concerning your bill, or would like to advise us of a change in address etc., please contact the TNRD at:
 

300-465 Victoria St.
Kamloops, BC V2C 2A9
Phone (250)377-8673 or 1-877-377-8673
Fax (250)372-5048
Email finance@tnrd.ca

The TNRD also owns and operates by way of local committee, the Savona Waterworks. Curently, the committee office does the billings and collections for this system, but this function will be assumed by the TNRD starting July 2017. Any questions relating to this system can be directed to Savona Waterworks at 250-373-2513 until June.

How are utility rates set?  Will they increase?

The Environmental Services - Utilities Department sets the rates through bylaws, and they are based upon the operational costs of the utility. With the exception of Paul Lake sewer system where they are paid via annual parcel taxes, all direct operational costs of the utility are paid from the rates. This information can be accessed in the Utility Services section of this website.

Most utility rates were increased by the TNRD in January 2017. Future increases will be subject to Board approval.

I am the property owner and I want the bill to go to my renter. What do I do?

It is the policy of the Regional District that the utility bill will be sent to the registered owner of the property. In order to redirect the bill c/o a renter, tenant, property manager, or other, we must have that request in writing from the registered owner. This is because if there is an outstanding balance on the utility bill as of December 31st then that amount may be transferred to property taxes and is the responsibility of the registered owner.

What happens to unpaid utility bills?

Where outstanding amounts on the utility bill as of December 31st exceed the total amount billed for the preceding quarter, then that total amount will be transferred to property taxes. Since the Regional District cannot issue the Property Tax notices, we also cannot collect payments for utility bills once they have been transferred. For payment information please go to the Ministry of Provincial Revenue-Taxation Branch website.

How do I disconnect and stop being billed?

To stop water or sewer charges, you must call our Utilities department at 250-377-8673 for permission and instructions. A turn-off fee of $50 will be charged and a $50 turn-on fee will be charged upon re-connection.  A brand new connection is charged a $300 connection fee.

What if property ownership changes?

It is a good idea to contact our office to notify us of the possession date of the new owner to ensure the account information is changed over correctly. You do not need to pay a portion of the bill for the billing period that you occupy the dwelling, as your lawyer or notary as part of the conveyance will cover this on your statement of adjustment. 

The TNRD does not read meters (if installed) when property changes hands. The law firm or notary for conveying the sale must contact the Regional District's Finance department for an estimate amount owing and make an adjustment accordingly. Note that the charges remain with the property when it is transferred and the new owner becomes responsible for these payments. The Regional District cannot make adjustments between owners if the actual amount of the final bill is different from the estimate.

I just bought a property in the Regional District and the first utility bill I received shows arrears from before I bought the property. Who is responsible for paying these arrears?

It is the responsibility of the lawyer or notary handling the transfer of ownership to ensure that a search is done through the Regional District to determine if there are any outstanding utility charges on a property and include those charges on the statement of adjustments. This is required to be sure that there are no outstanding debts or encumbrances attached to the property upon transfer of ownership.

Why do I pay both utility bills and a utility component on my annual property taxes?

The items that appear on your property tax notice regarding TNRD water and/or sewer services are for capital costs and indirect operational costs not covered by the utility bills alone. The water/sewer utility charges that appear on your utility bill are for direct operating costs only and do not cover the capital costs for water/sewer trunk lines or system expansions/upgrades.  They also do not cover indirect administration and staffing costs charged to the utility, which are recovered through annual parcel taxes.

My property is not connected to the utility service?  Why does it appear on my annual property taxes?

The capital costs of the TNRD water/sewer systems have generally been financed by a combination of government grants and debt proceeds, financed over a twenty-year repayment term. The repayment costs for the debt are charged to the properties within the service area that will benefit from the installation of these capital works, whether or not they choose to be connected to the services, unless the property owners have commuted their share of the debt. In addition, TNRD Utility Services support the ongoing maintenance and routine repair of the systems through parcel taxes charged annually to all parcels within the service area through the property tax collection system. For 2017, these have generally been set at $180 per parcel.

When local services are established and are to be funded through property taxation, the boundaries of the service area are determined by the availability of the service to a property. For example, if a fire protection service is created and your property is within an area where a timely response to an emergency is likely, you are required to support that service.  Likewise, if you have the ability to hook into a water or sewer service in your area, you are required to contribute towards the capital costs of the infrastructure, whether you choose to connect to the service or not.

 

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