Now that you have your 2017 property assessments in hand you may have questions about how those values soared so high – Single-family homeowners typically saw increases of 30-50% – and what to do if you disagree with the results.
Below are five things you should know about your property assessment and how to dispute what you think is inaccurate:
1 – Your assessment is essentially an appraisal of your property’s value, considering both changes in land value, including things such as rezoning nearby, and improvements to the building, set by the B.C. Assessment Authority as of July 1 every year.
2 – Municipalities use assessments to adjust property-tax rates to account for changes in assessed values for various property classes. The concern for homeowners is whether their assessment rose by more than the average for their property class. If so, they will see a tax increase larger than a municipality’s general increase. Homeowners whose assessments rose by 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 (the $570 per household grant offered to help defray property taxes on homes that are their principal residence). The threshold value for 2016 was set at $1.2 million, above which the grant is reduced $5 per $1,000 value. However, Finance Minister Mike de Jong said Tuesday that the province is reviewing the threshold considering soaring assessments.
4 – Homeowners with questions about 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. It gives assessors a chance to figure out if there are any discrepancies.
5 – Homeowners have the right to formally appeal their assessments if they still disagree with the result. Those are heard by three-member independent, property assessment review panels in each community. The deadline to appeal is Jan. 31. Typically, 1-2% of homeowners appeal assessments.
Have more questions? Give a Walter Homes Realtor a call – 604-767-4600.