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Property Assessment


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.

BC Assessment
In British Columbia, property assessment is the responsibility of B.C. Assessment (BCA): a provincial Crown corporation which operates under the Assessment Authority Act.

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.

The Assessment Act establishes nine 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 nine classes:
  1. Residential
  2. Utilities
  3. Supportive Housing
  4. Major Industry
  5. Light Industry
  6. Business and Other
  7. Managed Forest Land
  8. Recreational Property/Non-Profit Organizations
  9. Farm

Property Assessment Appeal
Those property owners who are dissatisfied with their assessment may appeal to the Property Assessment Review Panel (PARP), the Property Assessment Appeal Board and, or, the BC Supreme Court.

Independent Property 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.

Property Assessment Appeal Board
If a property owner is not satisfied with the PARP they may file written notice of appeal with the Property Assessment Appeal Board. The Board is independent of both the review panel and BC Assessment.


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