By now everyone should have had their BC Assessments come in the mail. Surrey and White Rock residents saw their tax assessments go up between 7-8%. Whereas Langley City only increased by 1.5% and the Township almost 3.5%. I have had a few calls from Surrey clients upset with their tax assessments having increased as much as much as they did. I thought it was worth reminding everyone that if they are unhappy with their tax assessments they should ensure they file their complaints by January 31, 2012. If you are thinking of appealing and decide to mail in the complaint it must be postmarked by January 31, 2012 as well.
For more information on your BC tax assessment and how to file a complaint visit the following link:
Some advice I received from a colleague (that used to be on the panel) below if you are thinking of appealing
The most specific things you should know:
People do not do themselves real favours by being represented by realtors or other professionals; the Panel is made up of individuals [usually not related to the industry!!] whose job it is to provide the link between the Mass Assessment that is required by BCAAuthority, and the specifics of their home or property. It is NOT a formal Court anymore.
The belief that the Assessment has (Increased 'too much' or Is too high) isn't an acceptable argument. The question is how the property differs from the mass of this category and neighbourhood.
Does the home stand out as different from its comparables?? Is it the only rustic log house on a tiny no view lot, in a neighbourhood of architect designed, elegant view homes on acres?
There you would need to confirm at the hearing that BCAA did not take that into account, and with Photos illustrating the differences between theirs and their neighbours, the point can be made by an individual and the panel will likely order a change in the assessment. Photos are so key!!!
Is the home in disrepair? Bring Photos showing this, and Estimates of repairs required, and a Cost to Cure reduction will be assigned
But truly, the individual is best to represent themselves. You can certainly help by pulling stats and info! But given that heartstrings are available to be tugged, and photos will tell the tale ...because the Panel is there to ensure fairness, you really want them to be the presenter, if they can. The hard part is to get the Homeowner to understand that the assessment does not consider the value NOW, but its value AS AT last July 1. So, if you pull comparables, make sure the sales were as close to July 1 last year [the Valuation date] as possible. Of course, listings are irrelevant. Sales only will provide comparables.
Last, you want to look at the Comparables BCAA will provide and see if they do compare! [size, style, condition, views, location (Watch this one!!!!) and so on]
Good luck for those appealing!