Blog by Kevin Wong

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Assessment Notices – A Wake-Up Call For Property Owners

Property owners throughout BC received their 2012 assessment notice the first week of January from BC Assessment (BCA).

This notice is BC Assessment’s estimate of a property’s value as of July 1, 2011, and for new construction or substantially renovated homes, the physical condition as of October 31, 2011.

BCA is the government agency responsible for determining and reporting property value estimates for the 1,917,394 properties in its database, a 0.75% increase in the number of properties since 2011.

BC assessment and the market value determined by a REALTOR® may be different. Why?

Both BCA assessors and REALTORS® calculate market value by analyzing sales of comparable homes within a local market, and look at factors that affect value such as size of home, view, location – on a busy or quiet street, number of bedrooms, construction quality, floor level, and garage or parking stalls.

Where every lot and every home on a street are typically the same, both BCA’s value and a REALTOR’s® value will be similar during stable market conditions.

Differences occur in neighbourhoods where lots have been rezoned or are different shapes and sizes, where architecture and views are unique, and where owners have made changes that BCA hasn’t yet taken into account.

Differences also occur during market instability when prices rise or fall during the six-month period between July 1 and January 1 the following year.

Wake-up call – how to appeal an assessment

Since July 1, 2011 home owners may have seen prices stalling in some neighbourhoods and rising in others. Assessments may reflect these changes.

The deadline to appeal is January 31, 2012

Property owners who disagree with their assessment should do their homework by visiting and then e-valueBC to compare their assessment with those of their neighbours. Each year, about 1.6% of all BC property owners appeal their assessment.

Property owners should first contact their local assessment office and talk to staff who can make adjustments if there is an obvious error, for example if BCA includes a new swimming pool, when, in fact, the pool is a shallow fish pond.

Property owners who decide to appeal must file a written request by January 31, 2012. For information, visit and select Learn more about the Notice of Complaint (Appeal) process and the Property Assessment Review Panel.

What can an appeal mean for a property owner?

While BCA determines the assessed value of property tax for tax purposes, it’s the local taxing authorities – both provincial and local governments – which set tax rates each spring according budget requirements.

The formula for calculating taxes on property is:

   Tax Rate x Assessed Value / 1,000

If the tax rate is 4.000 and the property assessment is $1 million, then the taxes payable are $4,000.

No notice

Property owners who haven’t received an assessment notice by mid-January should contact the area phone numbers listed above or request their tax notice online at (See Receive your assessment notice online - right hand side).

If a property owner has concerns about their local taxes, they should contact their local government office.  Taxes aren’t appealable.

New feature - save assessment data

Visit and select e-valueBC to view and compare the assessed value of any BC property. A new feature this year lets you download and save assessment data as a PDF or an Excel file.

Area assessors’ phone numbers
  1. Vancouver, the North Shore, Squamish,Whistler,  Pemberton, Sunshine Coast = 604-739-8588 Local 450
  2. Richmond, South Delta = 604-241-1364  Local 254
  3. Pitt Meadows, Maple Ridge = 604-850-5900  Local 261
  4. Anmore, Belcarra, Burnaby, Coquitlam, New Westminster,  Port Coquitlam, Port Moody = 604-294-6441  Local 256 
Sample Changes Year Over Year
Location 2012 Assessment Roll 2011 Assessment Roll $ change % change
Burnaby (Capital Hill, detached) $665,000 $630,000   $35,000      5.6%
Coquitlam (Maillardville, detached) $621,000 $547,000 $74,000 13.5%
Ladner (Detached) $784,000 $759,000 $25,000 3.3%
Maple Ridge (Detached) $385,000 $382,000 $3,000 0.8%
New Westminster (Sapperton, detached) $523,000 $524,600 -$1,600 -0.3%
North Vancouver, District (Lynn Valley, detached) $878,000 $844,000 $34,000 4.0%
Pemberton Village (Detached) $499,000 $550,000 -$51,000 -9.3%
Port Coquitlam (Lincoln Park, detached) $486,000 $494,000 -$8,000 -1.6%
Richmond (Steveston, detached)  $809,000 $738,300 $70,700 9.6%
Sunshine Coast (Gibsons, detached) $431,000 $459,000 -$28,000 -6.1%
Vancouver (Downtown, 2-bed apartment) $610,000 $542,000 $68,000 12.5%
Vancouver (East side, detached, 33’ lot) $1,031,000 $816,000 $215,000 26.3%
Vancouver (West side, detached 50’ lot) $1,645,000 $1,189,000 $456,000 38.4%
West Vancouver (Ambleside, detached) $1,577,000 $1,229,000 $348,000 28.3%
Whistler (Village, 2-bed apartment) $498,000 $583,000 -$85,000 -14.6%




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