2018 Land assessment averaging

Land assessment averaging gives property owners temporary tax relief by phasing in tax increases due to changes in land values set by BC Assessment.

While averaging doesn't change the total property tax we collect for the entire city, it may affect:

  • The amount you pay to us
  • Other tax authorities (like provincial schools, TransLink, BC Assessment, and Metro Vancouver)

By March 31 each year, Council decides whether to continue to use:

  • Averaging to calculate property taxes
  • The eligibility criteria and requirements

How averaging works

To calculate a property's taxable value for averaging, we:

  1. Add the assessed land value for the current and past two years.
  2. Divide the result by three for an average.
  3. Add the result to the building value for the current year.

 Only the land value is averaged, not the building value.

Appeal an incorrect averaging

You can request a review if we misinterpreted or misapplied the Land Assessment Averaging Bylaw to your property.

  1. Download the Averaging Review Request Form  (110 KB)
  2. Complete the form
  3. Send the form by email, mail, fax, or in person to the collector of taxes before the last business day of July

You can appeal the decision within 30 days of the decision to the Court of Revision.

  Taxes remain due while your appeal is in process. 

What properties are eligible for averaging

Your main tax notice will show averaging in the property value table if the taxable 2018 land value is different from the assessed 2018 land value.

Your property is eligible for averaging if it:

  1. Is a residential (class 1), light industrial (class 5), or business (class 6) property
  2. Has significantly increased in value since last year, over a threshold of:
    • 19.62141% for residential
    • 36.69096% for light industrial and business

If your property isn't eligible, it will be taxed based on its 2018 assessed value, just like in other BC cities.

To help make property taxes more stable and predictable for everyone – especially for owners whose property value increased significantly over the previous year – we changed what properties are averaged. 

What changed

In 2014, the independent Property Tax Policy Review Commission recommended that we change from across-the-board averaging (used since 1993) to targeted averaging. On March 25, 2015, Council unanimously approved this transition for 2015. The table below summarizes the change.

Year 1993 to 2014 2015 onwards
Averaging program we use Across-the-board averaging Targeted averaging
Eligible properties All residential, light industrial, and business properties (no matter if their property value increased, decreased, or stayed the same compared to the previous year), with exceptions listed in the Land Assessment Averaging Bylaw Only residential, light industrial, and business properties whose property value increased significantly over the previous year, above a threshold set annually by Council
Tax impact Higher: about 50% of properties pay higher taxes to help the other 50% Lower: about 90% of properties pay slightly higher taxes to help the other 10%
Tax rate adjustment 5.4% for residential and 8% for light industrial and business 1% for residential and 3% for light industrial and business
Property value impact Higher, lower, or unchanged Lower or unchanged – never higher

Learn more about the change to targeted averaging

Council determines the threshold every year.

For 2018, it is set at 10% above the average increase for a property class.

Property class Average increase over 2017 Benchmark Threshold for averaging
Class 1 Residential 9.62141% 10% 19.62141%
Class 5 Light Industrial and Class 6 Business & Other 26.69096% 10% 36.69096%

To determine the per cent change in your property value:

  1. Subtract the 2017 averaged, taxable land and building value (from your 2017 July tax notice) from the 2018 assessed land and building value (from your 2018 BC Assessment notice).
  2. Divide the result by the 2017 averaged, taxable land and building value.
  3. Multiply the result by 100.

Tax rates for property classes eligible for averaging

Residential

Find this year's residential (class 1) property tax rate.

Light industry

Find this year's light industry (class 5) property tax rate.

Business and other

Find this year's business and other properties (class 6) tax rate.