Wednesday, 19 December, 2018

How do I appeal my property assessment?

Map shows assessments in Island communities outside the capital region Map shows assessments in Island communities outside the capital region
Nellie Chapman | 12 January, 2018, 21:03

BC Assessment released its property assessments for 2018 on Tuesday, and Prince George residents can expect to see an increase in the assessed value of their homes.

"The single-family homes have been quite active and we're seeing increases up to 25 per cent".

The most valuable assessed strata unit is 2101-83 Saghalie Rd., which was assessed at $8.1 million as of July 1, 2017.

In Delta, strata townhouses have seen a 12 per cent increase, going from $882,000 to $986,000, and strata condos have seen a 19 per cent increase, going from $364,000 to $432,000. There have been some suggestions that the property value boom in Metro Vancouver has created a spillover effect into smaller, more affordable communities - and the new figures show there might be some merit to that. The property values in the assessment are based on an estimate of its market value on July 1, 2017.

It is important to remember that assessment increases do not automatically translate into property tax increases.

"There has been a little bit less demand [for single-family homes]".

The average home in the Town of Sidney is valued at 20% higher than previous year, according new figures released by B.C. Assessment.

"Then there's potential to increase property taxes, but if everyone has gone up 20 per cent and your property has gone up 20 per cent, it's more than likely your property taxes won't change", she said.

According to examples used by BC Assessment, a home in Parksville is assessed at $440,000 in 2018 compared to $361,000 in 2017 which is a jump of 22 per cent.

"It can end up being very time-consuming and a costly experience if you don't do your homework in advance", said Sullivan, adding that he doesn't see many people win cases.

Overall, the Okanagan's total assessments increased from $98 billion in 2017 to $119 billion this year, according to B.C. Assessment.

Changes in property assessments reflect movement in the local real estate market and can vary greatly from property to property.

In northern B.C. the biggest swings in residential property values were in Granisle, which saw a 44.9 per cent increase in the average value of single family homes (from $42,000 to $61,000) and Kitimat, which saw the average value of a single-family house fall 16.2 per cent from $278,000 to $233,000.

Property tax rates for individual homes depend on how much their assessed value has changed compared to the average change in the municipality.

Homeowners that don't agree with their assessment have the option to appeal their notice.

- First speak with an appraiser from B.C. Assessment before January 31; if they find an error, they can make a correction without an independent review.

To qualify for this tax relief, the owner should submit a completed application form to BC Assessment each year by November 30 to receive the benefit in the following assessment/taxation year. The physical condition is based on how the property was on October 31, 2017.