FAQ - Property Taxation and Business Licencing
This information is intended to help Tax Payers on Cowichan Tribes reserve lands understand how the First Nation property taxation system works. It is intended as a guide only and may change as amendments to the Cowichan Tribes laws are duly executed.
HOW ARE PROPERTIES ASSESSED ON COWICHAN TRIBES TUMUHW (LANDS?)
The British Columbia Assessment Authority (“BC Assessment”) has been contracted to assess properties on reserve. BC Assessment uses the guidelines as set out in the Cowichan Tribes First Nation Property Assessment Law. BC Assessment applies same valuation practices and procedures as are applied off the reserve.
BC Assessment mails notices in early January. For more information refer to BC Assessment website: https://www.bcassessment.ca/
APPEALING PROPERTY ASSESSMENTS?
Details on how to appeal your assessment is on the back of your assessment notice. For more information, refer to the property assessment notice. Please note, this only applies to the property assessment, not property taxes.
HOW ARE TAX RATES SET?
Cowichan Tribes First Nation has jurisdiction under the First Nations Fiscal and Statistical Management Act (“FSMA”) to levy taxes and therefore has the sole authority to set tax rates.
TAX PAYMENT DUE DATE?
Property tax payments are due on the first business day in July. The taxation period is from January 1 to December 31.
Taxes can be paid in-person at the Cowichan Tribes Administration Office or by mail. We accept cheque, money order, cash and debit/credit.
*Note: Under new COVID-19 restrictions, Cowichan Tribes is encouraging EFT payments. Visit out home page for more information about payment options.
MISSING PAYMENT DEADLINE (i.e., penalties and interest)?
A 10% penalty is applied to unpaid taxes after the close of business on the due date. Unpaid tax balances, including penalties, accrue interest at a rate of 15% annually (1.25% monthly) until the taxes are paid in full.
The Tax Deferral Program is a Provincial program that does not apply on Federal Reserve lands. At this time there is no equivalent program offered by Cowichan Tribes.
It is the responsibility of all registered owners to pay taxes whether they receive a notice or not. Tax notices are sent out the last week of May. If a notice is not received, a copy can be provided by the Lulumexun Lands Office.
First Nations Finance Authority: https://fnfa.ca/
First Nations Tax Commission: http://fntc.ca
First Nations Financial Management Board: https://fnfmb.com/
BC Assessment: https://www.bcassessment.ca/