Questions and Answers to consider before appealing your 2018 Property Tax Assessment.  Deadline is January 31st!

The following information and links will help you see more detail concerning your property tax assessment, how property tax is calculated, the assessment appeal process and your option to use an accredited appraiser to help you with your appeal should you choose to do so.

Daniel Jones, President of Campbell & Pound Ltd. Real Estate Appraisers has been kind enough to answer some quick questions to help you make your decision together with the info on this page and the government resources. 

His team of appraisers can be reached at 604-270-8885 or by email or visit their website for BC service areas.

Thanks very much Dan!

Q & A, Dan Jones, AACI, P.App. RI business Coordinator/President & Campbell-Pound Ltd.

If I do consider an appeal, what are the benefits of hiring an accredited appraiser?

I would first like to comment by saying that we can’t guarantee a) your value will absolutely come in lower than your assessed value until we do your report and b) you need to consider the cost benefit to you.

For example: To hire a professional like me may cost you $425 including taxes.  This may require a reduction in assessed value of nearly $140,000 just to break-even on our fee.  Again, doing some homework in advance can save you this cost.

(Please note: The $425 is for a standard single family dwelling or strata condominium and that unique property with high price points (e.g. over $1M) or unique features such as acreage, views, and extraordinary large gross living areas as an example, would be quoted separately.)

How much will a reduced assessment on appeal save me in property tax?

On average, a $100,000 reduction in assessed property value may reduce your potential property tax bill by $300 annually.  Remember, this is strictly a residential tax rate example.  All city and municipal tax rates will ultimately determine your potential tax savings if this is achievable, and each has different tax rates.

Is the appeal process easy?

For some people, perhaps, if you have the time to do your research to find comparable sales as close to July 1, 2017 as possible.  You can use the BC Assessment website to help you navigate some info as Mark has outlined here on this page.

What is a "mill rate" and what is the difference between a "mill rate" and "tax rate"?

The mill rate is a figure that represents the amount per $1,000 of the assessed value of your property which is used to calculate the amount of property tax you will pay.  The “tax rate” represents the exact same amount, just the use of a different term.

How will new subdivisions like condos and townhouse developments affect property tax increases?

Great question!  The City budget is divided by the total Assessment Base which, it should be noted, will not only grow from property value market increases, but also from newly created subdivisions such as new condo towers, townhouse developments and every new construction and/or improvement built on a new parcel of land registered at the Land registry office.

For those inclined to know the math behind this impact, here it goes:

Let’s assume a city has an assessment base of $1,000,000,000 this year and the market increases 10%.  The new assessment would then be $1,100,000,000.

Added to that would be the above-noted new subdivisions/condo towers/townhouses etc.

Let’s says 1,000 new units were created at $300,000 each.

The Assessment base would then contribute $300,000,000 more to the new base of $1,100,000,000 noted above.

The total Assessment BASE at the time of creating the tax rate/mill rate would then be $1,400,000,000.

Having said all that, each new owner and family to occupy the newly created units will utilize City and Provincial services, send kids to schools, use the hospitals etc. so that the new proposed 2018-19 budget must extend its estimate to cover these 1,000 new units.  So it never drops.

This explains the age-old adage that two things in life are guaranteed: Death and Never-ending Tax Increases!….Meaning the Budget will go way up before being applied mathematically to the new Assessment Base.

Your Assessment Relative to your Property Taxes

It's important to note the following:

  • Tax Rates used together with your Property Tax Assessment to calculate your property tax bill are different based on the City or Municipality your home resides in.
  • Generally the calculation is:

ASSESSED VALUE    X   TAX RATE   =   TAXES PAYABLE (Before the application of any eligible Home Owner Grant).

For example: if your home resided in the City of Vancouver and the tax assessed value was $800,000, the calculation may look like this:

$800,000 / levy per $1000 = 800 X 2.55489 = Gross Taxes of $2,043.91.  Please note this example was prepared prior to the City of Vancouver releasing their Tax Rates for 2018.

Example: Link to City of Vancouver for tax rates

Searching your Property Tax Assessment online to find:

  • Your Tax Assessed Value of your Home; or
  • Neighbouring Property Infomation - Their assessed value, square footage etc.
  • Sample Sold Properties - Their sale dates / amount, and current tax assessed value

Property Assesment Search

First, you'll need to go to this link to open the BC Assessment Authority website.

Simply start typing in your address or any property address you want to check in the search field and the address will quickly start to auto-populate and the search results and a photo of the property (if available) will display below your search.

Please note that additional info will appear in your online search that isn't included in the assessment notice you receive in the mail.  For example:

  • Year built
  • Description of your property
  • Square footage of each floor of your home or strata
  • Number of bedrooms and bathrooms and much more.

Please also note that frequently, the property information (e.g. square footage) presented online may not correspond entirely to the information you received when you purchased your home.

Neighbouring and Sample Sold Properties

Note the "Neighbouring Properties" tab and and the "Sample Sold Properties" tab.

  • Choosing the Neighbouring...tab, will show you all the neighbouring property details as well as your own assessment search.
  • Choosing Sample...tab, will show you neighbouring properties that sold, the date, and amount sold for and their current Assessed Value.

BC Government Video on Appeal Process

For the complete Property Assessment Review Panel Process, call their toll free information line at 1-877-356-9313 or visit their webiste at gov.bc.ca/propertyassessmentreview

Please leave me a comment or ask a question below if you wish.  It would be great to hear from you.  I hope you found this helpful as a starting point.

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