Looking to ensure your property tax expenses are kept to a minimum or possibly eliminated?
BCNPHA members now have access to discounted services from AEC Property Tax Inc. (AEC), including a complimentary review of your property assessment(s) and recommendations on whether an appeal is warranted.
AEC has lobbied to change the way BC Assessment values social housing properties in BC, successfully reducing many properties in value and achieving property tax exemption for 45 properties. They recently won two appeal board court cases that can have positive implications on many other social housing providers.
Here are some quick facts about property assessments and the appeal process:
- BC Assessment mails out their annual values during the first week of January, 2020
- The deadline to contest your assessment is January 31, 2020
- The value is based on “market conditions” as of July 1, 2019
- Recent appeal board victories have affirmed that BC Assessment should (but often does not!) take into account any government-imposed restrictions that limit a property from achieving full market revenue
- Your property taxes are based on the assessed value (set by the province) times the tax rate (set by your municipality)
- BC Assessment typically uses a full market value analysis using “mass appraisal techniques” – they do not generally scrutinize the unique circumstances for specific properties unless spotlighted through an appeal process
Less than 1% of property owners appeal their assessments. Despite this relatively low number, there are several reasons to consider challenging your assessment:
- Value or valuation method does not take into account unique limitations (government-imposed restrictions, limited zoning) and challenges
- BC Assessment is relying on inequitable sales comparables (“apples to oranges”)
- Property is incorrectly classified (there are nine different tax classes used by BC Assessment)
- The subject property has significant deficiencies not quantified by BC Assessment (i.e. environmental, structural, etc.)
- Value is simply too high given current or previous market conditions
It is strongly recommended that non-profits considering filing an appeal seek the advice of a professional property tax agent to ensure there are proper grounds to appeal and avoid the risk of BC Assessment seeking an increase in value. For more information, please contact Marika Albert, BCNPHA Policy Director, at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Note: Content contributed by AEC Property Tax.