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:
By March 31 each year, Council decides whether to continue to use:
To calculate a property's taxable value for averaging, we:
Only the land value is averaged, not the building value.
You can request a review if we misinterpreted or misapplied the Land Assessment Averaging Bylaw to your property.
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.
Your main tax notice will show averaging in the property value table if the taxable 2016 land value is different from the assessed 2016 land value.
Your property is eligible for averaging if it:
If your property isn't eligible, it will be taxed based on its 2016 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.
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|
Council determines the threshold every year.
For 2016, it is set at 10% above the average increase for a property class.
|Property class||Average increase over 2015||Benchmark||Threshold for averaging|
|Class 1 Residential||20.13095%||10%||30.13095%|
|Class 5 Light Industrial and Class 6 Business & Other||21.23121%||10%||31.23121%|
To determine the per cent change in your property value: