2019 Tax Notices at a Glance

2019 Property Tax Notices were mailed out to all homeowners on May 22. Here is what you need to know to understand your 2019 residential tax notice:

Where do my tax dollars go?

Each year, on top of your general municipal taxes, the City of Fernie is tasked with collecting taxes on behalf of the province and other entities to pay for schools, hospitals and other regional services. This accounts for roughly half of the money you pay to the City each year. The City has no control over setting this portion of the tax rate and how this money is spent.

This year the City of Fernie will collect $13,623,827 in total taxes. Of that amount, roughly 52% or $6,890,754 will be collected by the City for municipal taxation.

How the municipal tax rate is determined:

The 2019-2023 Financial plan was adopted by Council on March 23, 2019. For 2019, Council has approved $31,320,644 in total expenditures. Of this amount $13.7 million is for Operating costs and $11.2 if for Capital expenditures. In order to fund our operating budget, the City relies on a number of revenue streams including grants, user fees, investment income and taxation. In 2019 the City must collect $6,890,754 in municipal taxes to balance the budget.

What does this mean for the average home?

The amount of tax you pay is based on the assessed value of your home. For the average home in Fernie assessed at $471,768 the City tax for 2019 would be $1773.94. This is an increase of $105.19 or 6.3% over 2018.

How the City spends tax dollars:

The roughly 52 percent of your taxes that go to the municipality are used for everything from maintaining existing parks, facilities, roads and other infrastructure, as well as protective services.

What is included in this year’s tax increase?

  • Cost of living increases
  • Full implementation of policing costs
  • Strategic planning initiatives
  • Updates to the City’s Health and Safety Program
  • Operational service enhancements

Policing: As of 2017, when the City passed the population threshold of 5000 people, the City has been responsible for paying a much larger share of our policing costs. This accounts for $915,403 dollars in 2019 or 7% off all the taxes collected by the municipality.

How will my tax notice be difference if I live in West Fernie?

Homes in what was formally West Fernie are still in a transition period where they are not responsible for the same taxes as those homes that were already within the Fernie boundaries. Phase 1 is in year three of a five year transition period and Phase 2 is in year two of the five year transition.

Want to learn more about what is funded in the 2019 -2023 Financial Plan?

You can find the plan online here.

If you do not receive your tax notice, please contact City Hall at 250-423-6817

Property Taxes must be paid by July 2, 2019 to avoid a 10% penalty.