BC Assessment has sent out its 2016 Property Assessment Notices. Your co-op should have received yours by now, and you should contact your local assessment office if you haven’t. Remember: if your co-op wishes to file an appeal, the deadline is February 1, 2016.
There have been newspaper articles and other media stories about assessments recently. Many co-op properties will see increases in assessed values, but others will see decreases. This is all pretty typical, but, as in other years, some co-ops may see some very significant increases of 25% or more. Changes of that magnitude may have a significant impact on the co-op’s property tax bill. Looking at the co-op portfolio in BC overall, the changes between 2015 and 2016 amount to an average 12% increase in assessed value.
The chart below shows the distribution of property assessments (for 90% or more) of the co-ops in the Province.If your co-op find itself on the right-hand side of the chart with a large assessment increase, you may be interested in considering an appeal. CHF BC is working with partners, including the BC Non-Profit Housing Association (BCNHPA), on long-term solutions for co-ops, but the federation isn’t spearheading a group appeal this year.
Building assessments may be affected by the need for major repairs (backed up with engineering studies), contamination issues, legal issues (such covenants on the land title) and overall market conditions. Co-ops will often see increases in their assessments if they’ve recently carried out significant renewal projects, and appeals may carry the risk of an increased assessed value as well as a decrease.Co-ops may undertake appeals on their own, or seek assistance from management companies or consultants specializing in assessment issues. Some of the consultant firms will charge fees for their services, others may seek compensation based on the size of the property tax reduction they are able to obtain for their clients. However your co-op decides to proceed, the deadline for filing an appeal is February 1, 2016.