Services Levy Information
Learn more about paying your Services Levy and what it is used for.
The University of British Columbia (UBC) Services Levy is like the municipal portion of property taxes for residential properties on UBC’s Point Grey campus. Property owners on campus pay a Rural Tax to the Province of British Columbia and the Services Levy to UBC. The two added together are the same amount as the City of Vancouver’s municipal tax due on a property with the same assessed value.
The Services Levy funds are collected by UBC and deposited to the Neighbours’ Fund which funds the University Neighbourhoods Association (UNA). These funds go towards paying for services in your community such as water and sewage, fire services, parking, emergency management, road maintenance, lighting, landscaping, recreation and athletic services, and more.
What is the UBC Services Levy?
The UBC Services Levy is a charge collected annually from homeowners at UBC to fund local programs and municipal-like services. The Services Levy is like the municipal portion of property taxes. It is called a levy rather than a tax because UBC is on a unincorporated land and is not a municipality.
What is the UBC Services Levy used for?
The Services Levy is collected by UBC and deposited into the Neighbours’ Fund which funds the University Neighbourhoods Association. The Neighbours’ Fund contributes to the UNA Operating Budget and Reserves.
The Operating Budget is used by the UNA to provide municipal-like services to UNA residents. The annual budget is developed by the UNA Board of Directors and approved after public consultation. Revenue the UNA generates, mostly through fees for activities and programs it provides, also contributes to the Operating Budget.
The Neighbours’ Fund Reserves are held to meet the future needs of the community. Common among municipalities and many other organizations, reserves are required planning for long-term replacement of infrastructure and to guard against surprise costs.
What is the Rural Tax?
Properties not located in an incorporated city, town, district or village, are taxed under the Provincial Rural Tax program. UBC is unincorporated land and properties on UBC land are taxed under the Provincial Rural Tax program.
The rural tax is paid directly to the BC government. It is to help pay for rural area public services, in particular local road maintenance and policing.
In addition to the rural tax, the BC government collects police and school tax, and it collects taxes on behalf of other organizations, including Translink and Metro Vancouver.
How is my Services Levy calculated?
The Services Levy equals the difference between the Provincial Rural Tax Rate and the City of Vancouver Residential Tax Rate. Your invoiced Service Levy amount is based on the value of your property as determined by BC Assessment.
For more information on the assessed value of your property you can contact the BC Assessment Authority at 604-739-8588 or visit www.bcassessment.ca
How do my taxes and services levy charges compare to residents in Vancouver?
UBC is required to ensure that the total property taxes paid by UNA home owners is the same as the property taxes of a comparably assessed property in the City of Vancouver. While homeowners in the UNA pay a Rural Tax to the Province of British Columbia and the Services Levy to UBC, the two added together are the same as the City of Vancouver property tax for a property with the same assessed value.
Why do I have to pay for services I don’t use?
In British Columbia, property owners share the cost of providing services like education and policing. Similarly, the Services Levy is spent on ensuring all UNA residents have equal access to important services that improve the quality of life for the community.
What about rental and commercial properties?
Rental and commercial properties are charged a General Municipal Services Levy that is also deposited to the Neighbours’ Fund and supports the UNA Operating Budget and Reserves.
How do I provide input into how my services levy is spent?
The UNA Board of Directors prepares an annual Operating Budget. Public consultation on the Operating Budget for the upcoming fiscal year (April 1 to March 31) is held in January and all residents are invited to comment. Visit the current operating budget, audited financial statements from previous years, and future budget consultations.