Property owners received their 2016 assessment notices the first week of January 2016.
The 2016 Assessment Notice is BC Assessment’s (BCA’s) estimate of a property’s value as of July 1, 2015, and for new construction or substantially renovated homes, the physical condition as of October 31, 2015.
BCA is a publicly owned provincial Crown corporation responsible for determining and reporting property value estimates for the 1,996,112 properties in its database, an increase of 1.06% from 2015. BCA has produced the assessment roll since 1974.
Real estate sales determine a property’s value, which are reported annually to BCA. Local and provincial taxing authorities are responsible for property taxation and, after determining their own budget needs, calculate property tax rates based on the assessment roll for their jurisdiction.
Municipalities determine tax rates for each property class in the spring, once the assessment roll is finalized. Changes in assessment over the year don’t automatically translate into the same percentage changes in property taxes for any particular class of property or for any individual property.
BCA’s assessment and a REALTOR’S® assessment. Why the difference?
BCA’s assessment and the market value determined by a REALTOR® may be different. Why?
Both BCA assessors and Realtors calculate market value by analyzing sales of comparable homes within a local market. They also look at factors that affect value such as size of home, view, location such as on a busy or quiet street, number of bedrooms, construction quality, floor level, and garage or parking stalls.
Where every lot and every home on a street are typically the same, both BCA’s value and a Realtor’s value will be similar during stable market conditions. Differences occur in neighbourhoods where lots have been rezoned or are different shapes and sizes, where architecture and views are unique, and where owners have made changes that BCA hasn’t yet taken into account.
When you view your assessment
Details include a photo, a property description (land and buildings), the total assessed value, the previous year’s value, the legal description, and a property ID.
If property details are incorrect, property owners are directed to complete and submit an e-valueBC Data Validation Form.
Property owners can also compare neighbouring properties and sample sold properties to decide whether their property has been correctly assessed.
Deadline to appeal your assessment is February 1, 2016
Property owners who disagree with their assessment should do their homework by:
- comparing their assessment with neighbouring properties; and
- contacting BCA at 1-866-valueBC (1-866-825-8322) and talking to staff who can make adjustments if there’s an obvious error, for example if BCA included a complete renovation, when it was merely a spruce-up.
Property owners who appeal their property assessment should review information on the Property Assessment Appeal Board website on how to prepare for an appeal. Then they can fill out the Notice of Complaint (Appeal) Form.
The deadline to file an appeal is February 1, 2016.
Each year less than 1 per cent of BC property owners appeal their assessments.
Note: You can’t appeal your taxes. You can only appeal your assessment.
For information about BC Assessment and to access e-valueBC visit www.bcassessment.ca or phone 1-866-valueBC (1-866-825-8322).
Sample Property Value Changes in our neighbourhoods
Vancouver's East Side saw the largest increase at 28 per cent for a detached home on a 33-foot lot. This was followed by Burnaby where a detached home in Buckingham rose 27 per cent, West Vancouver where a waterfront home rose 24 per cent, and in the Garibaldi Highlands where a detached home rose 23 per cent.
Additional examples may be found in this BCA news release.
Did you know?
- The total value of real estate on the 2016 BC assessment roll is $1.34 trillion, an increase of 11.1 per cent from 2015.
- In BC, 87.7 per cent of all properties are classified with some residential component, equating to $1.018 trillion.
- Changes in property assessment reflect movement in the local real estate market and can vary greatly from property to property.
- Real estate sales determine a property’s value, which is reported annually to BCA.
- BCA’s assessment roll provides the foundation for local and provincial taxing authorities to raise $7 billion in property taxes each year which funds community services including the school system.