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In This Volume


Part 17 provides for the incorporation and empowerment of improvement districts. Among the powers granted are the powers to acquire, hold, and dispose of land, and to borrow money and issue mortgages (s. 697). Section 705 of the Act provides that an improvement district may expropriate land or works reasonably required to carry out its objects.

Also among the powers granted to improvement districts under s. 697 are the powers to assess land and improvements and to levy and collect taxes, tolls, and other charges. Under s. 716, any assessment, tax, toll, or charge imposed by bylaw of an improvement district forms a lien and charge on the land to which it relates, and such a lien has preference over any claim, lien, privileges, or encumbrance of any person, except the Crown and municipal taxes previously accrued, and does not require registration to preserve it. Such a lien may be protected or enforced by way of court application. Section 717 provides that interest on taxes payable to an improvement district is deemed part of the taxes and is a lien and charge to the same extent as the taxes.

Tax Sales

Sections 718 to 726 (Division 6 of Part 17) provide for the recovery of taxes owing to an improvement district by way of tax sale. Section 723 provides that promptly after a tax sale the collector must execute a tax sale deed in favour of the purchaser and forward it to the registrar together with the applicable fee. On receipt, the registrar must register an indefeasible title to the land in the name of the purchaser. The effect of registration is as follows under s. 723(3):

  • (3) The registration of the improvement district or any other person as the owner of land under a tax sale deed executed under this section
  • (a) cancels registration of the indefeasible or absolute title of that land and any duplicate indefeasible title or absolute certificate of title outstanding for that land, and
  • (b) disencumbers the land of all interest of every previous owner or of those claiming under a previous owner, and of all claims, demands, payments, charges, liens, judgments,
    • (i) the restrictive conditions, reservations and exceptions subject to which the land was held at the time of the tax sale, and
    • (ii) existing liens of the Crown or of the municipality in which the land is located.


On the Form 17 Fee Simple, select Nature of Interest, Tax Sale—Certificate of Non-Redemption, and attach an image of the original Certificate of Non-Redemption.

Mountain Resort Improvement Districts

Under s. 677, a mountain resort improvement district may apply to the registrar for a notation to be added to every indefeasible title of resort land, stating that the land is located in a mountain resort improvement district, and is subject to the letters patent for that improvement district. The application, which may be in Form 17, must include complete legal descriptions for all of the parcels in the improvement district and must be accompanied by proof of incorporation. A copy of the letters patent certified by the Ministry of Municipal Affairs or other appropriate government official is preferred. The application must also contain a statement that the parcels described in it are located in the improvement district. While the land title office does not verify the statement, the statement constitutes a representation to the registrar for the purposes of the Land Title Act.


For authorized subscribers, use the Local Government Filing Form, select Nature of Interest, Mountain Resort Notice. No attachment is required.

Only authorized subscribers, as defined in E-filing Directions v. 1.9 (available at and reproduced at chapter 70 (Director’s Directions)), have the authority to sign this form electronically.

For all other subscribers, use the Form 17 Charge, Notation or Filing, select Nature of Interest, Mountain Resort Improvement District—Established, and attach an image of the original letters patent certified by the Ministry of Municipal Affairs or other appropriate government official.

Deletions and Alterations on Dissolution

If, on the incorporation of an improvement district, including a mountain resort improvement district, it appears that the new improvement district will undertake the functions of an existing development district, improvement district, or water users’ community, the Lieutenant Governor in Council may dissolve the latter and order “deletions or alterations” respecting endorsements or entries on a title or other document deposited in the land title office (ss. 678(5) and 680). So long as the order only directs a deletion or alteration of a legal notation regarding the dissolved district or community, the deletion or alteration may be made in the same manner as a cancellation or correction. Any order that directs a deletion or alteration of any other entry or endorsement in the records must be referred to the registrar, who considers its vires. Despite the mandatory nature of s. 678(5), which direct the registrar to make the specified deletions and alterations, the registrar cannot abandon their quasi-judicial responsibilities. For example, an order directing the deletion of a registered proprietary interest may well be ultra vires. As a matter of general practice, all dissolution orders are referred to the registrar for approval before registration.


On the Form 17 Cancellation of Charge, Notation or Filing, select Nature of Interest, Mountain Resort Improvement District—Dissolved, and attach an image of the original Dissolution Order of the Lieutenant Governor in Council.


Debts May Be Added to Assessment Roll

Under a number of enactments, the assessor may add amounts owing to the provincial government, a municipality, or an improvement district to the assessment roll. Where the municipality or improvement district pays the cost or expenses not paid, the municipality or improvement district may recover the amount paid by it as if it were a tax levied under the Community Charter, the Local Government Act, the Taxation (Rural Area) Act, R.S.B.C. 1996, c. 448, or the Vancouver Charter, S.B.C. 1953, c. 55, as the case may be. For examples of such enactments, see the practice material under s. 258 of the Community Charter.