On December 6, 2019, BC Assessment provided early notification to property owners of 46,800 properties across British Columbia. Early notification letters are mailed to property owners who are projected to expect an increase of at least 17 per cent above the average change in their local taxing jurisdiction (i.e., municipality) on their upcoming 2020 assessment notice.
As an example, assessment changes of -5 to -15 per cent will be typical for single-family homes in much of the Lower Mainland. As a result, homes with projected assessment increases of 17 per cent or more above these typical changes will receive the early notification. The letters ensure property owners are made aware of the significant changes that may have an impact their 2020 property taxes.
Early Notifications of 2020 Assessments of Properties Located on First Nation Land
During 2019 in preparation for the 2020 Assessment Roll, BC Assessment conducted a project that reviewed the accuracy of Assessments of properties located on First Nation Reserves. Inventory verification questionnaires were mailed to these property occupiers and BC Assessment appraisers updated land and improvement values accordingly.
Despite being leasehold properties, the Assessment Act and individual First Nation Assessment and Taxation Laws require these assessments to be based on a fee simple interest; that being, as if the occupier owns the property.
If you have any questions pertaining to the upcoming assessment change outlined on your early notification letter and/or assessment notice please contact BC Assessment. An appraiser will be able to verify the physical inventory of your property and provide benchmark off reserve property sales to support your new assessment.
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 17 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 25 per cent when compared to the 2019 assessment.
The average change for residential properties in the City of Langley is projected to be -3 per cent.
Since your projected value increase of 25 per cent is 28 per cent higher than the projected average change of -3 per cent, your taxes are likely to increase, so you will receive an Early Notification Letter.
On your 2019 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.
On your 2019 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.
2020 assessments for all properties will be released on January 2, 2020, and all 2020 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, 2020 with access to 2020 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.