Property assessments are being mailed out this week to South Surrey and White Rock homeowners, and they will likely show significant increases in market value.
The good news is that while property assessments for both single-family and strata-home properties have jumped – due to the date the information used was captured – that doesn’t necessarily mean a hike in individual taxes, according to BC Assessment Assessor Bryan Murao.
New assessments are based on market values as of July 1, 2022, a media release from the BC Assessment Authority notes.
“Despite the real estate market peaking last spring and showing signs of cooling down by summer, homes were still selling notably higher around July 1 compared to the previous year,” Murao said.
In White Rock an average single family home assessed for 2022 at $1,581,000 will have risen in value to $1,754,000 in the 2023 assessment – an 11 per cent increase.
In Surrey a similar single family home valued at $1,420,000 for 2022 will have risen to $1,609,000 in 2023 – an increase of 13 per cent.
An average strata condo or townhouse in White Rock valued at $525,000 in the 2022 assessment is likely to have increased to $633,000 for 2023 – a 21 per cent jump.
In Surrey, a strata condo or town house pegged at $604,000 for 2022, will have risen to $701,000 – a 16 per cent increase.
But while the increases may be large, there should be no immediate cause for homeowners to panic, Murao indicated.
“It is important to understand that changes in property assessments do not automatically translate into a corresponding change in property taxes,” he explained.
“As noted on your assessment notice, how your assessment changes relative to the average change in your community is what may affect your property taxes.”
Simply put, if your property’s value change is lower than the average change for the specific property class, your taxes will likely decrease, the release notes.
If the property value change is similar to the average change for the specific property class, the taxes will probably stay the same.
If the increase in assessment is upwards of the average change for the property class, then an increase in taxes might be expected. The increases locally are in keeping with increases in the Fraser Valley, higher than the average increase for single family homes, condos and townhomes in Greater Vancouver, posted at nine per cent.
“The majority of the commercial and industrial properties across the province will also be receiving higher assessed values in the range of five per cent to 20 per cent, with the Fraser Valley generally higher,” Murao added.
“Those who feel that their property assessment does not reflect market value as of July 1, 2022, or see incorrect information on their notice, should contact BC Assessment, as indicated on their notice, as soon as possible in January,” Murao said.
He added that a lot of useful information, including an online property assessment search service, and answers to many assessment-related questions can be found at the authority’s website, bcassessment.ca
“If a property owner is still concerned about their assessment after speaking to one of our appraisers, they may submit a notice of complaint (appeal) by Jan. 31, for an independent review by a Property Assessment Review Panel,” Murao added.
The panels, conducted independently of BC Assessment, are appointed annually by the provincial government, and typically meet between Feb. 1 and March 15 to hear formal complaints.