Under the split assessment proposal, the Province of BC would need to revise legislation to create a new commercial property sub-class allowing BC Assessment to value the actual use and the development potential separately. If this change were made, municipalities would be able to set a lower tax rate for the portion of the land assessment related to unused development potential. This would lower the overall taxes for these types of properties.
Vancouver, along with the other municipalities, prefers and continues to advocate to the Province to consider the split assessment option. The Union of BC Municipalities and the BC Urban Mayors' Caucus have also endorsed this option.
We are also the only municipality in BC to use targeted land assessment averaging, where land assessments (determined by BC Assessment) are averaged over five years to help smooth out the effect of increases on taxes paid.
This proposal would allow municipalities to exempt eligible commercial properties from a portion of or all of their municipal taxes. This would only apply to properties with tenants on triple net leases; independent, owner-operated small businesses would not be eligible for this exemption.
This proposal addresses year-over-year volatility in land assessments, but does not directly address the issue of taxation on unused development potential.