2017 Assessments are in, now what?

Below are five things you should know about your property assessment and how to dispute what you think is inaccurate.


1 - Your property assessment is essentially an appraisal of your property's value considering changes in land value, including things such as rezoning nearby, neighbour home sales and improvements to your home or building. Assessments are set by the authority July 1st every year.


Whatever market changes that happened after July 1, 2016 like the impact of the 15% foreign buyers tax, will be reflected in your 2018 assessment.


2 – Municipalities use assessments to adjust property tax rates to account for changes in assessed values for various property classes. The concern for many homeowners is whether their assessment rose more than the average for their property class. If so, the homeowner will see a tax increase larger than the municipal’s general increase. Typically, in areas where there has been a number of older home demolished and new much larger homes were built. Homeowners whose assessments rose less than the average will get a tax break.

3 – The provincial government uses property assessments to establish eligibility for the B.C. Homeowners Grant ($570 per household offered to help defray property taxes on home that are their principal residence). The threshold value for 2016 was set at $1.2 million, above which the grant is reduced $5 per $1,00 in value. However Finance Minister Mike de Jong said that the province is reviewing the threshold considering soaring property prices and assessments.

4 – Homeowners with questions regarding their assessments can go online at B.C. Assessment’s e-valueBC site to check how their assessment compares with their neighbours and comparable property sales that would have been used in setting the value. If that doesn’t answer questions, they’re welcome to call B.C. Assessment an assessor will figure out if there are any discrepancies. The B.C. Assessment Authority always encourages people to call, sometimes it’s something that can be resolved easily or give people a better understanding of how their assessment was determined.

5 – Homeowners always have the right to formally appeal their assessments if they disagree with the result. Failing an understanding at that level, the homeowner can file an independent complaint. Those are heard by a three-member independent property assessment review panel for each community.

The deadline to appeal your assessment is January 31, 2017. Typically only one to two percent of homeowners will appeal their assessments.

Assessments on average rose from 31.4 in Vancouver to 43.3 in Surrey, personally mine went up 49%.

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