Property taxes are a relative tax. If your property assessment went up 30% and the average assessment of properties in your community also went up 30% then your taxes would only go up by the increase put in place by your council. The assessed value of your home is a proportional tool used to determine your portion of the pot for city services. If everyone’s property value goes up by the same percentage your portion doesn’t change at all.
However, this dramatic increase is going to have a significant effect on home owners whose properties have reached the $1.2- $1.3 million mark and lose the benefit of the $570 annual homeowner’s grant.
Here’s why we have this problem: These assessments were made on property values as of July 1, 2016, which is considered to be the high point in the market in recent months. BC Assessment stated they are sticking to this annual assessment date to ensure fairness year over year.
However, the bottom line is that instead of taking real action to bring down the cost of homes, Premier Christy Clark deliberately ignored the concerns of economic experts, the Official Opposition, the BC Chamber of Commerce and thousands of people who called out to her for help as prices rocketed out of reach for an entire generation of British Columbians.
Christy Clark and her government created the crisis by doing absolutely nothing for two years except deny that families were caught in a housing crisis, and in that time, the cost of an average Metro Vancouver home rose by more than $600,000. It wasn’t until July 2016 when the benchmark price had climbed to $1,578,300 that she finally admitted people were facing a crisis in affordability and quickly imposed a tax on foreign buyers. If she had taken action at any point over the past two years housing would be more affordable, the real estate market would not be the unpredictable, volatile market it is today, and housing affordability would be a lot easier for thousands of British Columbians.
Recently, MLA David Eby, Opposition spokesperson for housing, talked about concerns that a large number of people will no longer qualify for the homeowner grant. His advice to Christy Clark and her government was to look at the windfall they would get from the loss of homeowner grants and consider increasing the $1.2M threshold so more people can access it (http://globalnews.ca/news/3111205/metro-vancouver-home-assessment-values-to-rise-by-up-to-50-this-year/).
The Premier has turned this province into a place where only the rich can thrive. She fanned the flames of the housing crisis for years because it benefited her and her donors.
For more detailed information:
More information on property assessments: https://www.bcassessment.ca/news/Pages/Preview_of_Greater_Vancouver_2017_Property_Assessments.aspx.
- You may qualify for a low income grant if you are a senior or person with disabilities. Information on these two programs can be found at: http://www2.gov.bc.ca/gov/content/taxes/property-taxes/annual-property-tax/reduce/home-owner-grant/senior/low-income and http://www2.gov.bc.ca/gov/content/taxes/property-taxes/annual-property-tax/reduce/home-owner-grant/person-with-disabilities/low-income.
- If you want to appeal your assessment, contact BC Assessment at: https://www.bcassessment.ca/contact-us. Most concerns can be resolved through discussion with BCA staff, but if you are still not satisfied, an independent appeal process exists to have your assessment reviewed. The first level of appeal is to the Property Assessment Review Panel (PARP). Please note that the deadline to appeal a 2017 Assessment is January 31. Property Assessment Review Panels hear assessment complaints between February 1st and March 15th of each year. For owners who are not satisfied with a panel decision, a second level of appeal is to the Property Assessment Appeal Board (PAAB).