Separate school boards have the constitutional right to levy mill rates by bylaw according to rules set out in provincial legislation.
Municipalities will continue to collect and remit funds to the separate school board directly when a bylaw that was passed in accordance with legislation is in place. The province will continue to fund these separate school divisions for the difference between what was collected in education property tax (EPT) and the total operating funding calculated using the pre-kindergarten to grade 12 funding distribution model.
When a municipality is collecting EPT for a separate school division that has a bylaw, the monthly and annual EPT return information must be:
- submitted in SETS (for information purposes only); and
- sent to the separate school division.
For 2018, three separate school boards will levy mill rates by bylaw:
- Christ the Teacher RCSSD;
- St. Paul’s RCSSD; and
- Light of Christ RCSSD.
A chart detailing which municipalities will remit EPT collections to these three separate school boards can be found in the January 2018 issue of Municipalities Today.
The Education Property Tax Act became law on January 1, 2018, and replaced the relevant provisions in The Education Act, 1995. Under the legislation, any separate school board can pass a bylaw to levy its own EPT and it will come into effect the following year. This delay is for practical reasons to give municipalities and the province time to anticipate the change in payment of tax collected. Any bylaws set by the other separate school boards in 2018 will not take effect until 2019.
Note: Separate school divisions that set their own rates by bylaw still approve exemptions/abatements in accordance with the municipal acts.
A board of education of a separate school division that has passed a bylaw to levy mill rates is defined as an “other taxing authority” in all three of the municipal acts. Therefore, the requirement to notify/ obtain consent from an “other taxing authority” when local exemptions and abatements are granted outlined in the municipal acts applies to the separate divisions setting their own mill rates. These exemptions and abatements will not be governed by the EPT exemption and abatement process established for municipalities that remit EPT to the province.