Q & As on Taxes

When are the tax statements mailed?

Tax Statements are mailed out only once during the year in June or July.

I did not receive a tax statement for the year, what should I do?

Please contact the Municipal office at (204) 859-2779, as you must still make your payment(s) on or before the due date to avoid penalty. Failure to receive a tax notice is not a sufficient reason for a late or non-payment.

What period does the tax statement cover?

The tax year is the calendar year and covers the period from January 1st to December 31st.

What if there are arrears on my tax statement?

Arrears can be as a result of previous tax bill(s) that were not paid in full, or missed the deadline of October 31st, or can result from unpaid water invoices and/or outstanding account receivables owed to the Municipality that have been added to the tax roll. 

As current taxes are due and payable on or before October 31st, taxes remaining unpaid are considered arrears and shall be subject to penalty charges at the rate of 1.25% per month. Please add penalties of 1.25% per month commencing on the first day of each month, for payment made after October 31st. 

Penalties on arrears (prior year’s taxes) as printed on your tax statement are calculated to May of the current year, and further penalties continue to be added each month until paid. Therefore, if you pay prior years taxes in October your tax payment amount must include 1.25% penalties for June, July, August, September and October. Please contact the Municipal office at (204) 859-2779 to obtain the most current arrears balance.

Tax arrears must be paid in full before payment can be applied to current taxes.

I recently built a new home and have only received a property tax statement for the land. When will I receive a tax statement for the house?

New homes are typically sent a supplementary tax bill. Depending on the completion date of your home and/or if the home has been assessed, you may receive a supplementary tax bill for both the previous and current year.

What are Supplementary Taxes?

A municipality may correct its tax roll and impose Supplementary Taxes or "Adds to the Tax Roll” after the annual tax roll is complete if Provincial Assessment Services reports to the Municipality assessment revisions.  Assessment may report changes such as: the property is liable to taxation but was not assessed, the property changed ownership classification or use, the assessment increased from an improvement or reduced due to changes in physical condition, or the land has been improved or subdivided.  The supplementary tax notice is calculated and mailed to each applicable taxpayer after the annual tax notices and typically due in December.   

How does the municipality determine the tax requirement?

 

Annually the municipality goes through a budgeting process.  All areas of the budget are reviewed to determine the needs for the upcoming year.  Increases have to be accounted for, new initiatives, cost of living, etc., as well as reducing expenses to offset the increases if possible.  The municipality knows the importance of being fiscally responsible with taxation while still maintaining or increasing services – this is a challenge faced annually.  The municipality holds a public meeting annually to present the budget.  The public is encouraged to attend this meeting as it is important to be able to express any concerns you may have or to ask questions.  The date of this meeting is advertised in the local paper as well as on our website.

 

I believe my Tax Statement taxes are high, can I appeal my taxes?

No, taxes cannot be appealed, however you can appeal the assessed value of your property through the Board of Revision held in the late fall. The Board of Revision is usually comprised of Council members, but Council may appoint other persons instead. Prior to filing an appeal, you are encouraged to discuss the matter with the Provincial Assessment Services in Minnedosa at toll free 1-866-401-8983.  The taxes must still be paid on or before the due date to avoid penalties. If your assessment is reduced as a result of an appeal, any over payment of taxes will be refunded.  There is no fee to file an appeal for residential or farm assessments through the annual Board of Revision. Download your Board of Revision Appeal Form here.

Who determines the assessed value of properties in Manitoba?

 

The Province of Manitoba, through Assessment Services, is responsible for all real and personal property assessments in the province. For further information on Assessment please visit the Manitoba Local Government Assessment web site for more information.

 

 

How are assessments determined?

 

In Manitoba, property is assessed at market value.  Market value is the most probable selling price of the property.  Regular reassessments are done every 2 years to ensure that property assessments keep pace with real estate market conditions.

 

Assessment notices are prepared by Provincial Assessment Services in the fall of each year for the following taxation year. The values are based on market values from 2 years prior.

 

On new construction, Assessment Services may physically inspect the property.  If buildings are removed a demolition permit should be obtained from the Municipality and the Assessment Branch will then be notified in order to remove this assessment.

 

How is Assessment used to calculate taxes?

 

Assessment is important as the Municipal mill rate is derived from the total property assessment within the boundaries of the Municipality.  An individual property tax is calculated as follows:  assessed value times a ‘portioned percentage’ (farm land 26%, residential 45%, and commercial 65%) then multiply your ‘portioned assessment amount by the mill rate.  Thus, the higher assessed properties pay a higher amount of taxes. 

 

What is a mill rate?

 

Your property taxes are calculated by applying municipal and school mill rates against the portioned assessment.  By definition, a mill is a one-thousandth part.  For calculating taxes, one mill represents $1.00 of taxes for every $1,000.00 of portioned assessment.  The municipal tax rate (mill rate) is based on the budgeted amount of tax dollars the municipality requires to meet its obligations in the current year.  With mill rate or assessment-based taxes someone who lives in a large house pays more toward the operation of the Municipality than does someone who has a more modest home.

 

What is a Special Service Levy?

 

Municipality shifted from only mill rate-based taxes to special service levies along with mill rate-based taxes in 2019.  These special service levies set a per parcel rate that is the same for all applicable properties, independent of the property’s assessed value.  For 2021 budgeted municipal taxes, the mill rate taxes make up about 40% and the remaining 60% special service levies.

 

Why Special Service Levies?

 

In 2019 the former Rural Municipality of Rossburn had 82% of Rossburn’s total assessment, compared to the former Town of Rossburn at 18%.  The Province’s Amalgamation Legislation planned to no longer allow differential mill rates – one mill rate for former Town properties and a different mill rate for former RM of Rossburn properties.  Without Special Service Levies the former Rural Municipality properties would disproportionately pay 82% of the former Town properties expenses. Thus, moving away from the mill rate-based taxes where higher assessed properties pay more taxes, to Special Service Levies where each property pays the same amount for services allows for a fairer form of taxation.

 

What is a Tax Sale?

 

Properties in tax arrears for over two years are subject to the tax sale process.  A municipality must hold a public tax sale auction and put up for sale properties in the municipality that have outstanding property taxes. A notice is sent out first prior to beginning the tax sale process to give property owners a chance to pay their arrears and be taken out of tax sale.  The auction is usually held in the late fall and must be advertised in advance.  Administration fees and tax sale processing fees do apply and become costly when deadlines are not met.

 

 

Selling or Transferring Property?

 

If you have sold your property or transferred ownership, the remaining owing property taxes stay with the property. The Municipality does not adjust the annual tax amount for ownership changes.  Generally, a lawyer will reduce or add to the purchase price a property tax adjustment, prepare transfer documents to Land Titles, and provide a Statement of Disbursements listing the property tax adjustment.  The Municipality then receives the property ownership changes from Land Titles.  If you have questions please review your legal documents or speak with your lawyer about taxes owing if you have sold, purchased on transferred property. 

 

Note that it is your responsibility to pay the final water and sewer utility account up to the possession date.  Contact the municipality to request a final meter reading and provide your forwarding address for the final utility bills.