Big assessment increases for condos & townhouses

The summary above provides estimates of average 2017 versus 2018 assessed values of residential homes throughout the Okanagan region

Owners of more than 227,000 properties throughout the Okanagan region can expect to receive their 2018 assessment notices over the next few days.

The first three quarters of 2017 saw 1,026 single-family home sales -up from 942 over the same period in 2016 and 929 in the same period of 2015. The total value of all Greater Vancouver properties is up 9.9% year-over-year, with a total assessed value of $907.1 billion, compared with $825.2 billion last year.

For example, if your home's property assessment increased by 10 per cent this year and properties in the City of Vancouver increased by an average of 20 per cent, you may in fact pay less property taxes, according to Smith.

How will your property assessment affect your property taxes? Rural stratified property values were up between five to 25 per cent, BC Assessment estimated.

She says an increase in your assessment does not necessarily translate to an increase in your property taxes.

"If you've got a condo in Vancouver, I think they're going to get it pretty right, because there's so many homes they compare to yours, but out in the hinterlands, it gets thinner, and you have to believe if your home is unique in some ways, that they could botch the assessment".

As opposed to last year when single-family homes saw huge assessment increases, some as much as 50 per cent, this year it's townhouses and condos that are seeing the largest hikes.

In the City of Vancouver, the biggest increase was a 15% jump in the average assessed value of high-rise condos on the east side of the city, from $486,000 past year to $557,000.

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"Prior to this, the market had been stable with slight fluctuations up and down since 2008", said Wall.

This home type saw, on average, a 30% jump in assessed value, from $673,000 a year ago to $877,000.

"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. The resulting assessment reflects the market value as of July 1.

The average assessment in Osoyoos rose to $472,000 as of July 1, 2017 - an increase from $402,000 a year earlier.

Homeowners that don't agree with their assessment have the option to appeal their notice. Between one and two per cent of people file an appeal with B.C. Assessment every year (the deadline is January 31), but property tax agent Paul Sullivan said people shouldn't file one without doing careful research ahead of time.

The review panels are independent of BC Assessment and are appointed annually by the provincial government.

BC Assessment Authority continues their trend to aggressively pursue assessment valuation policies and property tax classification initiatives through legal challenges that will have long lasting impacts on all non-residential taxpayers.

Politicians, including Henry Braun, expressed frustration with the disparity in assessments, noting the city was collecting just two per cent more tax revenue from residential properties.

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