Understanding Property Taxes in Nova Scotia

Recently, you may have seen Nova Scotia property taxes in the news. A proposed increase on property taxes for non-residents of Nova Scotia was introduced and later rescinded as a way to address the province’s housing supply for local residents. A question CUA often receives is what are property taxes and how do they differ from other housing related costs? You or someone you know may be planning to purchase property soon, which means understanding property taxes is a necessity. That’s where CUA has you covered.

What are property taxes?

Property taxes, as the name indicates, are taxes paid on a property by the owner to their municipality. Property taxes differ from a mortgage such that for as long as you own a property, you always pay a property tax; this is true even if, in the example of homeownership, your house is paid off.

The property tax you pay is based on the assigned market value assessment of your property, and there is no standard property tax rate for all of Nova Scotia’s property owners. For example, residential properties and businesses will have different tax rates from one another, and the value of a property can be affected based on whether there are any houses or buildings on it. In Nova Scotia, the Property Valuation Services Corportation (PVSC) will determine the market value of your property, which your municipal government will then use to calculate your property tax bill.

Why do I pay property taxes?

Municipal governments advise that property taxes are used to fund schools, fire and police departments, libraries, water and sewer improvements, streetlights, road and highway construction, community centres and more. That means your property tax remains in your community to support a better place to live.

How do I pay them?

If you’re a new property owner, you might not know when to pay your property taxes or the exact amount they will be. Don’t worry, though, you’ll be reminded. When property taxes are due, your municipality will send out a tax bill in advance. In the Halifax Regional Municipality, tax bills are sent out twice a year, with the payment due at the end of April and October. Bill payment due dates vary across the province, so if you’re not sure when to expect a bill or make your payment, you should check with your municipality.

You can pay your property tax via online banking or an online credit card payment, in-person with a cheque or money order, or as part of your mortgage payment. It’s important to pay your property tax on time to avoid being in arrears, which refers to the interest you’ll be charged on the amount you owe.

Some municipalities offer payment plans and deferrals, as well as exemptions for lower-income property owners. You should confirm with your municipality on whether you qualify for these options.

The property tax payment process for CUA members

At CUA, we want to simplify the property tax payment process for our members. Any time a member takes out a mortgage with CUA, they have the option for CUA to handle the property tax payment on their behalf. This means that CUA will collect the member’s tax payments along with their mortgage payments, which CUA then uses to pay the member’s property tax bill to their municipality.

The tax payments made through CUA are calculated by taking the annual property tax amount and dividing it throughout the billing cycle. Each time the property value is reassessed, CUA will adjust the monthly payment amount based on the updated tax bill. When property tax bills are sent out, CUA will receive the member’s bill, with members also receiving a copy for their files.

Contact us today

Paying your property tax doesn’t have to be a confusing process. With CUA, you can rely on professionals to help you every step of the way. Contact us with your property tax-related questions any time at info@cua.com or phone 902.492.6500 for more information.


 Published Jul. 11, 2022

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