A permissive property tax exemption is a tool for Council to support eligible organizations within the City of Surrey.  

Eligibility

Permissive property tax exemptions are granted in accordance with the Community Charter and City Policy No. Q-27.  Exemptions are provided at the discretion of Council, are specific to a given tax year and must be applied for annually. 

Exemptions under Sections 224 and 225 of the Community Charter are granted at the discretion of Council exercised in accordance with those sections and the policy. Council is never obligated to provide a permissive exemption. Exemptions cannot be granted if the owner does not qualify under the Community Charter.

To be considered for a permissive exemption, the property must be in good standing with the City (i.e. – any utility bills or portion of property taxes, as well as any late fees, as applicable, must be paid) and comply with all municipal regulations, the organization must be open and operational and contribute to Surrey's community.

For questions related to permissive property tax exemptions, please contact permissive@surrey.ca.

Application Process

All organizations or property owners are required to apply for a permissive exemption annually.

There are six different application forms for different categories of organization or property. 

Please note that as required before the COVID-19 pandemic, all applications must have the signature witnessed by a Commissioner for taking Affidavits within British Columbia or a Notary Public in and for the Province of British Columbia.  Completed application forms can be brought to Legislative Services located on the fifth floor, east tower of City Hall Monday through Friday (excluding statutory holidays) between 8:30 a.m. and 4:30 p.m. to have the signatures witnessed.  Please bring one piece of government issued ID so we can verify your identity.  Please note that witnessing a signature does not mean an application has been approved.  Staff will contact the applicant if there is any outstanding information missing in the application form.  Applicants can also have their signature witnessed by a Notary Public at their own expense. 

If you are applying for a permissive exemption for more than one property, please provide a complete application package for each property.

Completed application forms and supporting documentation can be submitted via email to permissive@surrey.ca or by mail or in-person to Legislative Services, 5th Floor East, 13450 – 104 Avenue, Surrey, BC  V3T 1V8.

See below for more information on each type of application and submission requirements.  Other documentation may be required based on individual applications.

Place of Worship [Section 224(2)(f)]

Council can consider permissive exemptions for organizations that own a property that is used for the purpose of public worship. The property must also be receiving a statutory exemption (administered by BC Assessment) for building/s set aside for public worship along with the footprint of land on which they stand.  Permissive exemptions will not be considered for any areas that are not used for public worship, including living space and commercial activities, and any lands that are surplus to the facility's needs.

All organizations that own property used for public worship must submit:

  1. An application form (to be signed by a current Director))
  2. The most recent list of directors as submitted to a governing body (a Statement of Registered Directors and Registered Office from the Province or a T1235E form from Canada Revenue Agency)
  3. T1242E form (if the organization is a registered charity) from Canada Revenue Agency 
  4. Certificate of Good Standing from the Province 
  5. If the organization leases space to a third-party childcare operator, submit a copy of the lease agreement, as well as the provider's childcare license and charity registration number. 

In addition to the above noted submission requirements, all new applicants must also submit:

  1. Floor plan with each room clearly shown, along with its purpose
  2. Interior photos of each room above
  3. A site plan (this can be from Cosmos) that shows any parking and/our outbuildings and their use
  4. Exterior photos that show hours of operation, signage
  5. Certificate of Incorporation

All new applicants are subject to a site visit (the applicant does not need to be present) and are reviewed by an internal staff committee that will make a recommendation to Council. 

Leased Place of Worship [Section 224(2)(g)]

Council can consider permissive exemptions for organizations that lease a property that is used for the purpose of public worship. Permissive exemptions will not be considered for any areas that are not used for public worship, including living space and commercial activities, and any lands that are surplus to the facility's needs.

All organizations that lease property used for public worship must submit:

  1. An application form (to be signed by a current Director)
  2. The most recent list of directors as submitted to a governing body (a Statement of Registered Directors and Registered Office from the Province or a T1235E form from Canada Revenue Agency)
  3. T1242E form (if the organization is a registered charity) from Canada Revenue Agency 
  4. Certificate of Good Standing from the Province
  5. Copy of the lease agreement, with the leased area and term specifically defined, and that the leasing organization is responsible for payment of property tax
  6. If the organization subleases space to a third-party childcare operator, submit a copy of the lease agreement, as well as the provider's childcare license and charity registration number. 

In addition to the above noted submission requirements, all new applicants must also submit:

  1. Floor plan with each room clearly shown, along with its purpose
  2. Interior photos of each room above
  3. A site plan (this can be from Cosmos) that shows any parking and/our outbuildings and their use
  4. Exterior photos that show hours of operation, signage
  5. Certificate of Incorporation
Non-Profit, Charitable or Philanthropic Organizations [Section 224(2)(a)]

Council can consider permissive exemptions for property that is not being operated for profit or gain, is owned by a charitable, philanthropic organization or other non-profit corporation supported in whole or in part by public funds and used exclusively for charitable or philanthropic purposes.  The organization must demonstrate that the services provided are open to and used predominately by Surrey residents.

All non-profit organizations that own property used for charitable or philanthropic purposes must submit:

  1. An application form (to be signed by a current Director)
  2. The most recent list of directors as submitted to a governing body (a Statement of Registered Directors and Registered Office from the Province or a T1235E form from Canada Revenue Agency)
  3. T1242E form (if the organization is a registered charity) from Canada Revenue Agency 
  4. Certificate of Good Standing from the Province
  5. If the services provided require, a copy of the Community Care and Assisted Living license. 

In addition to the above noted submission requirements, all new applicants must also submit:

  1. Floor plan with each room clearly shown, along with its purpose
  2. Interior photos of each room above
  3. A site plan (this can be from Cosmos) that shows any parking and/our outbuildings and their use
  4. Exterior photos that show hours of operation, signage
  5. Certificate of Incorporation
Societies Leasing Space from the City [Section 224(2)(b)]

Council can consider permissive exemptions for property that is leased from the City by a society.  

All societies that lease property from the City must submit:

  1. An application form (to be signed by a current Director))
  2. The most recent list of directors as submitted to a governing body (a Statement of Registered Directors and Registered Office from the Province or a T1235E form from Canada Revenue Agency)
  3. *T1242E form (if the organization is a registered charity) from Canada Revenue Agency 
  4. *Certificate of Good Standing from the Province

*a financial spreadsheet will be accepted if the Society does not earn enough income to file with Canada Revenue

In addition to the above noted submission requirements, all new applicants must also submit:

  1. Floor plan with each room clearly shown, along with its purpose
  2. Interior photos of each room above
  3. A site plan (this can be from Cosmos) that shows any parking and/our outbuildings and their use
  4. Exterior photos that show hours of operation, signage
  5. Certificate of Incorporation
Community Care Facility [Section 224(2)(j)]

Council can consider permissive exemptions for property that is owned by a non-profit organization and operated as a non-profit care facility licensed under the Community Care and Assisted Living Act and property owned by a for-profit organization and operated as a care facility licensed under the Community Care and Assisted Living Act and receiving publicly funded care.

All organizations that own property used as a community care facility must submit:

  1. An application form (to be signed by a company official)
  2. A copy of the Community Care and Assisted Living license. 
  3. Letter from Fraser Health dated the current year confirming how many beds are funded

In addition to the above noted submission requirements, all new applicants must also submit:

  1. Floor plan with each room clearly shown, along with its purpose
  2. Interior photos of each room above
  3. A site plan (this can be from Cosmos) that shows any parking and/our outbuildings and their use
  4. Exterior photos that show hours of operation, signage
  5. Certificate of Incorporation
Heritage Properties [Section 225]

Council can consider permissive exemptions for original maintained heritage structures that are protected by a Heritage Designation or Heritage Revitalization Agreement Bylaw and meet or exceed the minimum maintenance standards regulated by Bylaw No. 18931.  The property must be in compliance with its associated Designation or Revitalization Bylaw.   

Protected heritage property owners must submit an application form (to be signed by the property owner).