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
Email: email@example.comRead More
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.
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
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.
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.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org.
If you have any questions or concerns about this process, don’t hesitate to reach out.Read More