Strathcona Tax Empowerment Program

At the beginning of the year, commercial property owners across the city are issued a notice of property assessment. This is the value BC Assessment Authority places on your property based on market value and its highest and best potential use.

The Strathcona BIA has noted a dramatic increase in property values for 2019 and we’re taking action to support our members in the face of rising commercial property tax and its implications. Read on to learn what we’re doing, why we’re doing it and next steps.

Action

After much consideration, the Strathcona BIA Board of Directors has decided to commission a commercial tax agent, Paul Sullivan of Burgess, Cawley, Sullivan & Associates Ltd., to review all SBIA member properties.

This means every member of the SBIA benefits from a professional legal opinion regarding their 2019 commercial property assessment. The agent will then determine if a member has merit or grounds to appeal their assessment ahead of the January 31st deadline. If you are a property recommended for appeal, it will automatically be filed on your behalf. If you’ve already initiated an appeal, our action will not negatively impact it.

Our commercial tax agent, Paul Sullivan, draws from many different data sources and considerable experience to arrive at his recommendations. There is no guarantee our agent will recommend your property for appeal.

Properties with Grounds for Appeal

If an appeal is filed on your behalf, we’ll contact you with the information you need should you wish to proceed with your appeal process after January 31st including:

  • The opportunity to learn more about what an appeal could mean for your property, business or organization
  • The opportunity to engage Burgess, Cawley, Sullivan & Associates Ltd. or a commercial tax agent of your choice to represent you through the appeal process
  • The decision to drop the appeal if it doesn’t serve you
  • The decision to take no action therefore allowing the appeal to expire after March 15, 2019

All Members

The SBIA will attempt to reach all members the week of January 28th, in advance of the January 31st appeal deadline, with the results of the SBIA-wide property assessment review. If an appeal is not recommended for your address, and you disagree, you can still file your own appeal by going to bcassessment.ca

Both commercial property owners and commercial property tenants have a right to appeal their assessment.

Benefits

Per the board’s decision, the SBIA is absorbing the cost of $100 per property which includes the benefit of a SBIA-wide review, the agent’s opinion, a final report on Strathcona commercial properties, and the filing of the recommended appeals to the Property Assessment Review Panel. Normally, the cost to initiate a review for an individual property would be higher. However, the SBIA is in a unique position to leverage the scale of our membership for a lower rate, benefiting every business, organization and property across our community.

Next Steps

As members, you will hear from the SBIA regarding this issue and opportunity including:

  • An email before January 31st to members containing the results of our commercial tax agent’s final report
  • Members with merit or grounds for an appeal will hear more immediately from the SBIA in the coming weeks regarding next steps
  • An email and direct mail in Spring, 2019, to all members summarizing our findings and hopefully our success through this collective appeal process

If you’ve never received an email from us before you may not be on our list. To sign up from the SBIA newsletter, please visit our homepage at www.strathconabia.com or email us at info@strathconabia.com.

If you have any questions or concerns about this process, don’t hesitate to reach out.