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Frequently Asked Questions about assessments and complaints (appeals)

Frequently Asked Questions about assessments and complaints (appeals)

Every year, BC Assessment assists property owners in understanding their most recent property assessments.

Many assessment concerns can be resolved through discussion with our staff outside of the formal complaint and appeal process. Please take the time to review these frequently asked questions about complaints (appeals) by clicking on a question below.

If you have additional questions, please contact us. 
 
People often look at how their value changed compared to other properties when reviewing their assessment. The most important principle in property assessment is that properties must be assessed at their market value.



How can you determine if your assessment is at market value as of July 1st of the previous year? Assessment Search has property sales that you can review to determine if your property is assessed at market value.



Complaints regarding equity, or fairness, require an understanding of how equity and market value are related.

Firstly, your property’s assessment should be accurate - assessed at its market value as of July 1st of the previous year. Secondly, your assessment should also be fair in comparison to similar properties in your municipality. This principle is called equity.




A. Additions and Renovations

The Assessment Act requires that your assessment notice provides separated values for land and buildings. In reality, separating land and building value in the real estate market is usually not needed.

Sometimes, building values increase. This usually happens when there is an addition or renovation to an existing older building. BC Assessment constantly updates our property database from sources such as building plans, city permits, questionnaires and air photos. Our staff also visit some properties to collect information.



B. Changing Construction Costs or Depreciation

Has your house increased in value when you haven’t made any changes? Buildings can increase in value if construction costs rise rapidly or if there is greater demand for a popular property type. For example, in some markets, heritage houses are highly sought after for their unique features. This type of house is relatively rare and there can be many buyers who want them, so prices get bid up.



Please call BC Assessment to discuss any specific questions about your property assessment.


BC Assessment produces property assessments for municipalities to establish their property taxes. It is important to understand that an assessment complaint (appeal) can only be about a property’s assessment and not about a property tax concern.

Property taxes are a significant concern for property owners. An increase in assessed value does not necessarily mean an increase in your taxes. BC Assessment’s website at bcassessment.ca/propertytax has information on how changes in assessment relate to changes in taxes.




When there is damage to your property from fire, flood, erosion or other natural forces that is not repaired or replaced by October 31, then that damage should be factored into your latest assessment value. If substantial damage occurred after October 31 and before you received your assessment notice, your assessment can still be adjusted.




Are you concerned that a negative influence like traffic noise, the shape of your lot, steepness of your property or proximity to a business has not been considered in your property assessment? Any potential adjustment to the assessment, for a negative influence, needs to be supported using market sales.




BC Assessment is required to value all property in BC, at market value as of July 1st of the previous year. Market value is determined by sales of similar properties within your area.

In some cases, there are areas that have limited or no sales for comparisons. Sales from previous years, or sales from similar areas outside of your neighbourhood, can be used to determine your assessment.








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If you have additonal questions, please contact us.