Note from Theodora Lamb, SBIA Executive Director
Dear SBIA Members,
The notice of your latest property assessment arrived on January 2nd, 2020. For tenants who have not seen a copy you can reach out to your property owner or manager or look up your assessment at bcassessment.ca. The SBIA has created a toolkit for members to help guide you through your property assessment decision and navigate the appeal process if that’s a step you choose to take.
We know that rising property tax has been one of the greatest challenges facing local businesses in Strathcona. Last year, the SBIA introduced the Strathcona Tax Empowerment Program (STEP). As part of STEP, every member of the SBIA benefited from a commercial tax agent’s opinion on their 2019 commercial property assessment. Approximately 14% of members chose to engage the agent, and nine of those properties were successful in their appeals. They achieved a combined tax savings of $195,000 and an overall reduction in property assessment value of $15,237,395.
For 2020 we want to equip you with the tools to investigate the appeal process. Working with a tax agent is also an option for those wanting professional support. Tax agents give you the option to pay a pre-determined rate or work on a contingency basis. Please reach out to the SBIA office at 604-258-2727 or email firstname.lastname@example.org if you would like an agent recommendation.
Please don’t hesitate to reach out to the SBIA with any questions you have regarding the property assessment appeal process.
Executive Director, Strathcona BIARead More
The Strathcona BIA noted a dramatic increase in 2019 property values. The SBIA Board of Directors took action to support our members in the face of rising commercial property tax with a SBIA-wide review and appeal approach. Every member of the SBIA benefited from a commercial tax agent�s opinion on their 2019 commercial property assessment. Those properties recommended for appeal were filed collectively by the SBIA. All members were notified in print or by e-mail with next steps and options depending on the results of their appeal recommendation.
34% of all properties in the Strathcona BIA area were recommended for appeal.
Properties Reviewed: 402
Recommended for Appeal: 137
Not Recommended for Appeal: 265
The key factors that supported grounds for an appeal included:
Assessed value is higher than market value
Market sales are analyzed by BC Assessment to determine market value of properties. Due to differences between properties, some are over assessed based on the sales.
55% of recommended properties
Errors in income approach
An appeal may be warranted based on the income approach if the rents or leasable area applied by BC assessment is not reflective of market for the property type.
36% of recommended properties
Physical characteristics misrepresented
An appeal may be warranted if the assessor has misrepresented the size of the building on a property or the lot size itself.
0.7% of recommended properties
The taxpayer has the right to be assessed at the “lesser of” market value or comparable assessments.
9% of recommended properties
Classification determines which tax rate applies to your property. If you feel your property has been misclassified this would warrant an appeal.
insufficient information at time of investigation.
Approximately 14% of members recommended for appeal opted to work with our agent to pursue action. Others decided to represent themselves or work with other commercial tax agents. Some property owners withdrew appeals or took no action, resulting in expired appeals.
BC Property Assessment Appeal Process Timeline
We’ve created an appeal process timeline to help you plan for next year.� For detailed information on the BC assessment appeal process visit:
www.bcassessment.ca�(1st level of appeal)
www.assessmentappeal.bc.ca�(2nd level of appeal)
Get in touch with your appeal story.
The SBIA is collecting the neighbourhood wide results for a full report back to the membership in the Fall.
If you would like to share your appeal process story and results with us, please reach out below.
Call Us: (604) 258-2727