Property assessment is a key component of the local government
tax system. The assessed value of a property, in part,
determines the amount of tax a property owner must pay in any one year.
Property taxes are calculated using the assessed value of land, improvements
or both (i.e. house, barn, garage, yard) and the tax rate. Most local governments
calculate taxes using the variable tax rate system where tax rates are based on a dollar figure
per $1,000 dollars of assessed property value (i.e. $1.02/$1,000). Using this example, the
property taxes payable on a $300,000 property would be $306.
In British Columbia, property assessment is the responsibility of
Assessment (BCA): a provincial Crown corporation which operates under the
BCA's primary objective is to produce annual independent and uniform
property assessments for all property owners in the province. The
agency is responsible for determining the market value and
classification of all properties and for publishing these values in
the annual assessment roll.
Assessment Act establishes eight property classes based on the use of the
property. Generally, each class determines the level of taxes an individual property
owner will pay each year - class also determines the exemptions the owner may be
entitled to. BC Assessment categorizes every property in B.C. into one of the
following eight classes:
- Unmanaged Forest land - REPEALED
- Major Industry
- Light Industry
- Business and Other
- Managed Forest Land
- Recreational Property/Non-Profit Organizations
Property Assessment Appeal
Assessment Review Panels are established every year by the
Provincial government as a service to property owners. These panels
review and hear applications for property re-assessment on the part
of those owners, local governments or others who do not agree
with the original assessment. The request for review must be
filed with Property Assessment Review Panel before January 31 each year.
Those property owners who are dissatisfied with their assessment may
appeal to the Property Assessment Review Panel (PARP), the
Assessment Appeal Board and, or, the
Property Assessment Appeal Board
If a property owner is not satisfied with the PARP they may file
written notice of appeal with the
Assessment Appeal Board. The Board is independent of both the review panel
and BC Assessment.