What does your 2018 property assessment mean for your tax bill?

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In the next few days, owners of more than 369,000 properties throughout Vancouver Island can expect to receive their 2018 assessment notices which reflect the market value as of July 1, 2017. 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.

Commercial units in urban areas are up between zero to 20 per cent and in rural areas numbers range from a decrease of five per cent to an increase of 25 per cent. There have been some suggestions that the property value boom in Metro Vancouver has created a spillover effect into smaller, more affordable communities - and the new figures show there might be some merit to that.

"Stratas are the area where the market is moving the most prominently this year", said BC Assessment Fraser Valley assessor Laura Schwagele.

Annually, BC Assessment grades the value of homes by analyzing a number of factors including current sale prices in the neighbourhood, property size, age, quality, condition, view and location.

"There has been a little bit less demand [for single-family homes]".

The increases seen this year were, on average, far less than those seen last year, when assessed values jumped 20-50%.

"The western communities increased, Sidney increased, and those jurisdictions previous year didn't experience the same kind of volume", said Deputy Assessor Gerry Marolla.

Homeowners whose property values increase by more than the average in their city will see higher than usual tax increases, she added. The resulting assessment reflects the market value as of July 1.

Across the Fraser Valley, residential strata units have seen between 10 per cent and 40 per cent increases in value over the past year.

Metchosin saw the largest average increase in assessment value, as the average assessment for a single-family home as of July 1, 2017, was $716,000, up 25 per cent from $574,000 in July 2016.

Homeowners that don't agree with their assessment have the option to appeal their notice.

"Prior to this, the market had been stable with slight fluctuations up and down since 2008", said Wall. Owners can dispute assessment values by submitting a Notice of Complaint by January 31.

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

The highest average single-family assessment in Greater Victoria was in Oak Bay, at $1.156 million, up from $1.036 million a year ago.

To qualify for this tax relief, the owner should submit a completed application form to BC Assessment each year by November 30 to receive the benefit in the following assessment/taxation year.

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.

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