On January 1, 2017 property assessments became available on the BC Assessment website. And as expected, the increases in property values are substantial: values were calculated as at July 2016 when local real estate prices were at their peak.
The main issue here is that your property value has risen and you are facing a higher than normal property tax rate hike.
It is important to note that a sharp increase in your property value does not necessarily indicate a proportional property tax hike; it’s relative to how much your property appreciated compared to others in the same municipality.
In view of this year’s higher assessments, the Provincial government just announced an increase in the Home Owner Grant threshold from $1.2million to $1.6million, in an effort to assist homeowners whose property values and taxes have increased substantially.
Since July 2016, prices in some neighbourhoods have marginally declined while others have not. There are a number of homeowners who strongly disagree with their assessments. If you are one of them should you file an appeal?
You have until January 31 to appeal your property assessment. Before you do, consider the following:
- There are 2 arguments for appeal: either that the assessed market value of your property is too high based on comparable sales, or that you were unfairly assessed in comparison to your neighbors.
- There is not a straightforward correlation between your property taxes and your property value - the important factor here is how your property fared relative to others in your property class and local taxing jurisdiction.
- An appeal could work against you as a second review of your property may reveal that you were initially under assessed.
If your property value went up 30% or 40% don’t panic. It does not mean that your property tax will increase by that much. What matters is how much your value appreciated relative to other homes in your municipality.
If you are unsure on how to handle the recent dramatic rise in your property value and whether you should appeal or not, we have experts who can advise you as to the best course of action. Contact us on 604 695 1000, email us or visit our offices on 1280 West Pender St.