Government Finance Officers
Association of British Columbia
Friday, June 24, 2022

We asked local governments how they manage delinquent taxes and properties subject to tax sale.

The results are in with nearly 50% of municipalities responding.

We asked when a property’s unpaid tax becomes delinquent and subject to tax sale, when does the local government issue notices or alert to the property owner? 100% of respondents said their municipalities send out one notice, while only 72% report issuing a 3rd.

TAX SALE NOTICES 2021-2022      
Month Issued: 1st  2nd  3rd 
January            17.3%           0.0%           0.0%
February  12.0% 1.4% 0.0%
March  1.3% 1.4% 0.0%
April  5.3% 1.4% 0.0%
May  10.7% 13.9% 0.0%
June  1.3% 0.0% 1.9%
July  32.0% 27.8% 14.8%
August  18.7% 43.1% 35.2%
September  0.0% 11.1% 46.3%
October  0.0% 0.0% 1.9%
November  0.0% 0.0% 0.0%
December  1.3% 0.0% 0.0%











When no response is received from the taxpayer 56% of municipalities report performing in person visits to the property. 48% of these local governments regardless of size report that finance personnel perform the in person visit either solo or in the company of an additional staff member. 95% of these visits are done in August and September.

92% of municipalities report the outstanding taxes to the lender associated with the property. The months the lender is most often contacted:

July   26.1%
Aug   52.2%
Sept  17.4%

When we asked if local governments had ever contacted the Public Guardian and Trustee to investigate a person’s capacity in the case of a pending tax sale, most local governments reported they had not:

No     81%
Yes    19%

At January 1, 2022, 91% of municipalities reported properties considered delinquent and subject to tax sale for September 2022 with an average volume of 79 properties and median of 28 properties.

Some of the many methods reported for tracking down taxpayers beyond phone calls, contacting the lender and in person visits were:

  • BC Land Title & Survey
  • Facebook
  • Canada 411
  • Newspapers
  • Contact family members

Detailed results for this survey can be obtained by emailing surveys@

Thank you to all who participated in this questionnaire. The online Forumis a great place to continue the conversation. 

If you have a topic for a future quarterly question please contact the office at or (250) 382-6871. 

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