July 3, 2023

School taxes: how much you need to pay

July isn’t just about moving in Quebec! It’s also when homeowners receive their school tax bill for the coming year. In this article, you’ll learn what this tax used for, how the tax rate is calculated and your responsibilities. Let’s get started!

Girls playing outside

1. What are school taxes used for in Quebec?

The school tax funds part of the school system.[1] These funds help maintain equipment, manage buildings and cover some head office expenses. They also cover nearly half of student transport costs.

2. How is the tax rate calculated?

The ratio is calculated using two main factors: the amount required to meet local needs, and property values. The Ministère de l’Éducation et de l’Enseignement supérieur assesses the first factor based on the number of students in a given territory and its features. The second factor is the taxpayers’ real estate wealth.

The Quebec government introduced a single tax rate in April 2019 that allows for an annual exemption of $25,000 on the taxable value of a home. The rate is made public by June 15 of each year preceding the taxation period. As of July 1, the various school service centres across the province send the school tax bills to homeowners in their territory.[2]

The school tax is also based on the property’s standardized value obtained after averaging the change in the values after the assessment roll comes into effect. In other words, the school tax accounts for the increase or decrease in the value of the roll over the previous year.

3. What’s the tax rate for the 2023–2024 school year?

The rate for the 2023–2024 school year is $0.0973 per $100 of the assessment roll.[3]The amount is payable in two instalments if it’s equal to or greater than $300, and the first payment is due on the 31st day after the tax bill is sent. An interest rate of 5% is applied to unpaid amounts.

4. What if you’re a new owner?

Unlike the welcome tax, which is sent directly to you, the school tax bill may have been sent to the previous owner if you moved after the bill was issued. Since school service centres don’t issue a second tax bill in these situations, it’s up to the new occupant to make sure they know the dates and the payment amounts.

Buying a property is probably the biggest investment of your life. Feel free to talk to a financial advisor or real estate broker, as they can guide you through each step of buying a home. They’ll help you plan ahead and limit unexpected expenses.

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See also:

What moving expenses can you claim?

Buyer or seller: who pays the real estate broker?

Montreal: all about the increased residential property taxes

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