Property assessments up more than 35% for some BC homeowners

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BC Assessment released its property assessments for 2018 on Tuesday, and Prince George residents can expect to see an increase in the assessed value of their homes.

Tina Ireland, B.C. Assessment's assessor for Greater Victoria, said the residential strata market has been "particularly robust" and assessments in that category have increased between 15 and 35 per cent.

"For example, a commercial property in a downtown location should not be assessed at a higher rate than a similar neighboring property".

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.

"Property taxpayers have a right to either the lower of the actual market value, or the eq-uitable assessment value for their property", Down adds.

The 2018 property assessments were released this week but reflect the value assessed as of July 1, 2017.

All communities in the Okanagan region saw their assessments increase by double-digit percentages with the exceptions of Keremeos (seven per cent) and Spallumcheen (six per cent).

The single most expensive home in the province is on Point Grey Road in Vancouver.

Last year, home values rose by an average of 32 per cent, but some single-family houses saw increases of as much as 50 per cent.

Most other Fraser Valley communities have also seen sharp increases in strata values, although most cities have also seen modest jumps for single-family homes.

"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.

Rural Chilliwack, Langley City and Abbotsford saw the highest average increases in residential property values with 22 per cent, 20 per cent and 18 per cent, respectively.

The value of most homes in the region will increase with owners of residential strata units, or condos and townhouses, seeing the biggest rise: 10-40 per cent.

"It's a more typical market than what we've seen in the past couple of years", said Borgo.

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

The Okanagan's total assessment value increased from $98 billion in July of 2016 to $119 billion in July of 2017.

Owners concerned about their assessments must submit their appeal by the end of the month.

The review panels are independent of BC Assessment and are appointed annually by the provincial government. "That's a uniform valuation date; all assessments are based off of the same conditions that occurred across all property types", says Ireland.

Changes in property assessments reflect movement in the local real estate market and can vary greatly from property to property.

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.