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 does not increase or decrease the City’s tax revenue, it affects the amount of taxes paid by individual property owners.
By March 31 each year, Council decides whether to continue to use averaging to calculate property taxes and the eligibility criteria and requirements for averaging.
Using a targeted averaging approach
Since 2015, the City of Vancouver has used targeted land assessment averaging to calculate property taxes as recommended by the Property Tax Policy Review Commission in 2014. We plan to transition from three-year to five-year targeted averaging in 2019.
Under targeted averaging, only properties facing significant year-over-year increases in property values above a certain threshold ("hot" properties) will be eligible for averaging.
For eligible "hot" properties, the program calculates property taxes for the City and other taxing authorities using an average of the assessed land value for the current and prior four years, plus their current assessed improvement value.
The benefit of averaging is limited to the threshold percentages indicated below. A property's averaged value cannot be reduced below the applicable threshold.
All other properties would continue to pay property taxes based on their current year BC Assessment value.
Your main tax notice will indicate averaging has been applied to your property if the taxable land value is different from the current year assessed land value.
What properties are eligible for averaging
Your property is eligible for averaging if it:
- Is a residential (class 1), light industrial (class 5), or business and other (class 6) property
- The taxable value has increased over a threshold since last year
- Is not otherwise exempt under the Land Assessment Averaging Bylaw
If your property isn't eligible, it will be taxed based on its assessed value, just like in other BC cities.