Every property owner in BC has by now received their new property assessment and many are asking how the value is arrived at.
First of all, the assessment is an estimate of a properties value as at the preceding July 1st, and values can change, up or down, by the time the notice comes out.
Secondly there are more than 2 million properties to be assessed in BC and only a few hundred assessors to do the job, so very few properties are actually visited physically by these assessors. Instead they primarily use computer models to come up with values, taking into account recent neighborhood reported sales etc.
Properties can change over time due to deteriorating physical condition of the property or deteriorating views due to recent neighbouring construction or growth of trees taking away the views. Unless these properties are physically viewed by an assessor, these important facts get overlooked.
Property owners should be aware that they can appeal their assessments, but only have until January 31 to do so. There is a recently published 64 page book entitled “How to Successfully Appeal Your BC Assessment” co-written by Peter Norris, a commercial real estate agent and Tim Downs, former BC Assessment Supervisor. This book may be of value to those considering such an appeal.