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Victoria (Capital Region) Property Tax Assessments


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#21 victorian fan

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Posted 05 January 2010 - 04:26 PM

Greater Victoria property values jump by $4 billion
ANDREW A. DUFFY , TC JANUARY 5, 2010
http://www.timescolo...7630/story.html

The assessed value of Greater Victoria’s homes jumped to nearly $89 billion for 2010, an increase of nearly $4 billion from the previous year, according to the B.C. Assessment Authority.
The roll for the province was released yesterday morning with Greater Victoria weighing in at $88,167,548,510 — up from $84,592,819,165 in 2009.[...]

#22 Bernard

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Posted 05 January 2010 - 04:34 PM

It was my understanding that your tax rate is not necessarily tied to your home assessment.


The tax rate is based on a portion of the value of your property. If you property rises slower in relation to others, then your taxes will not rise as much.

Our current assessment system rewards people that do not look after their properties with lower values for the house and therefore lower taxes.

As to why one unit in a building may be worth more than another, it is likely related to the interior finish. An updated unit will get higher assessment.

You can request what they have on file for your house. It can be an interesting review of the history of your house.

One final point on assessments, in my opinion BC Assessment provides a more realistic value for most houses than most appraisals do. Few private sector appraisers do as many appraisals as a BC Assessment assessor does. Most appraisers do not have access to data on comparable sales that is a good as what BC Assessment holds.

#23 Bernard

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Posted 05 January 2010 - 04:36 PM

I should have added this.

I am available for anyone that wishes help in appealing their assessment. I spent a bunch of years on the Property Assessment Review Panel for residential properties in SD 61.

#24 AnonAnnie2

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Posted 05 January 2010 - 07:24 PM

I should have added this.

I am available for anyone that wishes help in appealing their assessment. I spent a bunch of years on the Property Assessment Review Panel for residential properties in SD 61.


wow! thats a pretty darn nice offer Bernard, thank you.

#25 gumgum

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Posted 05 January 2010 - 08:16 PM

Bernard, maybe you could answer me a quick question. How is the information gathered by the municipality when there is an upgrade of a home? I just recently added an addition to my house and finished my basement, adding a couple more bedrooms, office and a bathroom. My assessment went up by a small amount, but not nearly reflecting the increase it has incurred in value. My only guess is that because my final inspection hasn't happened yet for the construction and once it does, the info will be passed on by the inspector to the proper channels.

#26 G-Man

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Posted 05 January 2010 - 08:48 PM

^ Let alone all the work you did without permits or was that me?

That is sort of my question though you can do some pretty skookum upgrades to a house without getting permits and of course these will never be taken into account for assessments. Can you appeal up?

#27 Bernard

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Posted 05 January 2010 - 08:50 PM

Bernard, maybe you could answer me a quick question. How is the information gathered by the municipality when there is an upgrade of a home? I just recently added an addition to my house and finished my basement, adding a couple more bedrooms, office and a bathroom. My assessment went up by a small amount, but not nearly reflecting the increase it has incurred in value. My only guess is that because my final inspection hasn't happened yet for the construction and once it does, the info will be passed on by the inspector to the proper channels.


BC Assessment collects information on every property in BC and has an extensive database of every property in the province. The municipality is not part of the process.

BC Assessment works from buildings permits people take out on their homes and site visits. They try to take pictures of houses on a regular basis and try to see a given house once every twenty years.

When a house is sold, the data on the MLS then goes into the BC Assessment records - number to rooms, type of finish, renos done, size of the house etc...

BC Assessment can also get data from people telling them about renos to a house. They have a right to come in an inspect the work to be able to accurately value the house.

BC Assessment also classifies each house by type and age. This is the core of what is used to set the values of the house.

Basement finishing is not worth a lot in either an appraisal or with BC Assessment. Normally a finished basement will add about 5% to the total value of the house and then mainly because of the potential of a secondary suite. The legality of the suite does not matter to BC Assessment (one local municipality is using BC Assessment records to find secondary suites)

Their mandate is to value each house at 100% of the value it would have sold for on July 1st of the preceding year.

It is honestly worth getting BC Assessment in to see your place so that they have an accurate record of your house. The better the records they have, the less likely you are to getting a surprising result in the future.

#28 G-Man

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Posted 05 January 2010 - 09:00 PM

Can you just call them up and ask them to come over for a walk around?

#29 VicHockeyFan

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Posted 05 January 2010 - 10:18 PM

Can you appeal up?


When you file for an appeal, there is no guarantee that it goes up, or down. If your assessment is $376,000, and you cry foul (usually you think/want it to be lower), on appeal they could make it $412,000.

#30 gumgum

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Posted 05 January 2010 - 10:23 PM

Thanks for the info Bernard.:)

#31 Bernard

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Posted 05 January 2010 - 10:23 PM

When you file for an appeal, there is no guarantee that it goes up, or down. If your assessment is $376,000, and you cry foul (usually you think/want it to be lower), on appeal they could make it $412,000.


When I sat on PARP we did raise some assessments. BC Assessment was not asking for an increase, just a confirmation of the value. When we did raise the assessment, it as because someone was truly trying to rip off the system. The worst case was a women with an acreage on Portage Inlet and claimed the land had no real value for some bizarre reasons.

Raised assessments are rare

#32 snub

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Posted 06 January 2010 - 06:17 PM

I am available for anyone that wishes help in appealing their assessment. I spent a bunch of years on the Property Assessment Review Panel for residential properties in SD 61.



Bernard...perhaps you can help me out here. I have a rental house in Langford. My 2008 assessment came in at 420,000, so I went to their site and found that I had the most expensive house on the street, which is a joke since it is in fact the ugliest and most poorly maintained house on that street. So I filled out the online form, submitted it and they reduced the value to 395,000.

Assessment for 2009 was 395,000, but for 2010 it is 455,000. An increase of 15%. I went and checked their website, and I have, once again, the most expensive house. I am wondering if I have to appeal the amount every year?


The house that I live in went up 4%, which is about right according to this chart from their website:






#33 Bernard

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Posted 06 January 2010 - 06:38 PM

Bernard...perhaps you can help me out here. I have a rental house in Langford. My 2008 assessment came in at 420,000, so I went to their site and found that I had the most expensive house on the street, which is a joke since it is in fact the ugliest and most poorly maintained house on that street. So I filled out the online form, submitted it and they reduced the value to 395,000.

Assessment for 2009 was 395,000, but for 2010 it is 455,000. An increase of 15%. I went and checked their website, and I have, once again, the most expensive house. I am wondering if I have to appeal the amount every year?


I sent you a direct message with some questions. On the surface it sounds like they have made an error.

#34 Bernard

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Posted 06 January 2010 - 06:43 PM

If you have any concerns about your assessment, file an appeal. It is very easy to do and costs you nothing. You can drop it without prejudice before it comes before the Property Assessment Review Panel.

If anyone does end up going to the review panel, I highly suggest you contact me to understand how the process works and what evidence is relevant.

#35 phx

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Posted 06 January 2010 - 07:12 PM

I am wondering if I have to appeal the amount every year?


Apparently, yes. I'll likely be appealing again this year, and one of my co-workers has been appealing for several years.

#36 VicHockeyFan

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Posted 06 January 2010 - 09:15 PM

...one of my co-workers has been appealing for several years...


Is she single? :D

#37 North Shore

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Posted 07 January 2010 - 12:53 AM

Co-workers aside (I'm just jealous, 'cause all of mine are middle-aged men!) My assessment went up by ~3% this year - the land value went down by $1k, but the house value went up by $16K - which doesn't seem to make sense to me. If I had to rebuild my house, surely it would be cheaper this year than last, and therefore, shouldn't my assessment be less? (I realise that assessment values aren't the cost of rebuilding...)
Say, what's that mountain goat doing up here in the mist?

#38 Bernard

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Posted 07 January 2010 - 07:13 AM

Co-workers aside (I'm just jealous, 'cause all of mine are middle-aged men!) My assessment went up by ~3% this year - the land value went down by $1k, but the house value went up by $16K - which doesn't seem to make sense to me. If I had to rebuild my house, surely it would be cheaper this year than last, and therefore, shouldn't my assessment be less? (I realise that assessment values aren't the cost of rebuilding...)

The value of the house and land are not relevant, it is the whole package that matter as a number. The two values are notional numbers that at times have no connection to any reality. In 'normal' situation they reflect accurately the value of both.

You can not appeal one part of your value and not the other, you can only appeal the full value. You always have to keep in mind that the assessment is supposed to be what the whole property would have sold for on July 1 2009. You can not sell you land without the house or vice versa.

#39 Szeven

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Posted 07 January 2010 - 10:23 AM

A lot I own in Sooke - Whiffin spit went down by 5%. I'm happy as I dont plan on doing anything with it for a few years...

#40 Holden West

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Posted 07 January 2010 - 10:27 AM

You can not sell you land without the house or vice versa.


There goes my retirement plan to sell the land out from underneath my condo.
"Beaver, ahoy!""The bridge is like a magnet, attracting both pedestrians and over 30,000 vehicles daily who enjoy the views of Victoria's harbour. The skyline may change, but "Big Blue" as some call it, will always be there."
-City of Victoria website, 2009

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