BC Tax Assessment and Mortgages

Don’t panic if the assessed value of your home is a lot more than you expected it to be.

That’s the message from noted real estate expert Tom Davidoff at UBC.

BC Assessment will announce the 2017 property assessment changes for communities Tuesday morning; last month, they hinted at significant increases.



Davidoff says take the assessment with a grain of salt.

“The first thing is don’t get sticker shock. Your property value is up, which is fantastic because you’re richer than you were before. Of course, they aim to estimate your property value as of July 2016, so your price may have fallen a bit since then if you’re in Vancouver. It could be higher than that if you’re outside the 15 per cent foreign buyer tax zone.”

Most importantly, Davidoff says a sharp increase doesn’t necessarily indict a sharp property tax hike; he adds that’s relative to how much a property appreciated compared to others in the same municipality.

Chances are you’ve had a chance to check online what the assessed value for your home is for 2016.

How much it will impact your property tax?

Last month, BC Assessment hinted at a 30 to 50 per cent increase for single-family homes in areas like Vancouver, North Shore, Burnaby, the Tri-Cities, Richmond, and Surrey.

Since the property assessments were made available online over the weekend, some have expressed shock that they were that high.

Davidoff advises homeowners not to press the panic button.

“If your property value went up 25 or 30 per cent, don’t panic. It doesn’t mean your property tax will increase by that much. Really, it matters how much you appreciated relative to other people in your municipality.”

Davidoff also reminds the public the value is assessed to last July, before the foreign buyer’s tax had even been announced and when market conditions were drastically different.

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