Chilliwack is not expecting to see significant spikes in residential property assessments for 2016.
But several other Metro Vancouver communities are, with increases cited between 15 and 25 per cent, above the average.
More than 37,000 early notification letters were fired off this week by BC Assessment staff, with the bulk going to Greater Vancouver property owners.
Most Chilliwack owners can expect assessment notices to arrive in the mail at the regular time, during the week of Jan. 4, while others receive theirs now.
Only 16 early notification letters were sent to Chilliwack property owners about big increases in assessed values of residential properties.
The letters were aimed at owners where property values jumped at least 15 per cent beyond the average, up to 25 per cent higher.
Mayor Sharon Gaetz said that City of Chilliwack, and BC Assessment are different entities, and wanted to remind residents that BC Assessment operates separately, under provincial legislation.
“If residential property assessments have gone up, it’s a good thing for those trying to sell their homes, and not so good for buyers, but it has very little affect on municipal taxes,” said Gaetz.
They “factor out” the effect of the overall increases or decreases in property assessments when city officials are calculating the tax rate, she said.
“So that means there is no windfall for city coffers when assessments go up, nor do we have budget crisis in the years when they go down,” Gaetz said.
But there’s a lot of talk recently about the increased property values in and around Vancouver.
“The recently finalized 2016 assessments are indicating significant increases from 2015,” said B.C. Assessor Jason Grant.
Increases in the 15-25 per cent range seem to be the norm for single-family homes in Vancouver, North Shore, Burnaby, Tri-Cities, New Westminster, Richmond and Surrey. Typical strata increases will be in the five to 10 per cent range.
“We want to ensure impacted property owners are aware of the significant increases and we welcome them to contact us if they have any questions or concerns,” said Grant.
Market movement has been “less dramatic” with typical residential increases in the zero to 10 per cent range for the rest of B.C.
“We want to ensure impacted property owners are aware of the significant increases and we welcome them to contact us if they have any questions or concerns.”
As usual, new assessments for all properties will be released on January 4, 2016, and all 2016 Assessment Notices will be mailed to property owners during the first week of the year.
“The market for single family homes between July 1 and the end of November has continued to rise dramatically, so property owners should be reminded that their 2016 assessments are based on the market value as of July 1, 2015,” says Grant.
BC Assessment collects, monitors and analyzes property data throughout the year as a Crown corporation that provides property assessments and collects property information for nearly two million properties across the province.
BC Assessment’s newly-updated website will have the 2016 roll up by Jan. 4 at bcassessment.ca
To contest an assessment, call 1-866-825-8322. Deadline to file an appeal is Jan. 31.