On December 6, 2018, BC Assessment provided early notification to property owners of 53,700 properties across British Columbia. Early notification letters are mailed to property owners who are projected to expect an increase of at least 23 per cent above the average change in their local taxing jurisdiction (i.e., municipality) on their upcoming 2019 assessment notice.
As an example, assessment increases of 5-15 per cent will be typical for single-family homes in much of the Fraser Valley. As a result, homes with projected assessment increases of 23 per cent or more above these typical increases will receive the early notification. The letters ensure property owners are made aware of the significant increases that may have an impact their 2019 property taxes.
Why did I receive an Early Notification Letter?
There are a number of reasons why a property owner may receive an Early Notification letter. Below are three of the most common reasons.
- Assessed value change of 23 per cent or more above the average change in the jurisdiction for your property class.
For example, you own a residential (property class 1) single family home in the City of Langley. Your home is expected to increase in value 45 per cent when compared to the 2018 assessment.
The average change for residential properties in the City of Langley is projected to be 15 per cent.
Since your projected value increase of 45 per cent is 30 per cent higher than the projected average change of 15 per cent, your taxes are likely to increase, so you will receive an Early Notification Letter.
- Classification Change
On your 2018 property assessment, your property had a residential class. Over the course of the year, the property changed from a residential use (property class 1 - Residential) to a commercial use (property class 6 – Business/Other).
Since the tax rate for commercial properties is higher than the tax rate for residential properties, your taxes are likely to increase, so you will receive an Early Notification Letter.
- Exemption Change
On your 2018 property assessment, your property had a tax exemption due to part of the property being classed as a farm. Over the course of the year, the farm ceased operation and returned to being classed as residential (property class 1 - Residential).
Since you will no longer be receiving a tax exemption, your taxes are likely to increase, so you will receive an Early Notification letter.
To better understand the impact of assessment changes on your property taxes, please visit our new page at bcassessment.ca/propertytax.
If you have further questions about your letter and why you received it, please contact us.
2019 assessments for all properties will be released on January 2, 2019, and all 2019 Assessment Notices will be mailed to property owners during the first week of January. Our website at bcassessment.ca will be updated on January 2nd, 2019 with access to 2019 property information including assessment details for all properties via our popular Assessment Search feature, a variety of statistics, and extensive lists of the top valued properties, both regionally and province-wide