This year’s BC Assessment notices brought with them a wide variety of changes. Some co-ops saw their assessments halved over last year, others saw doublings.
Take a look at the chart below which summarizes the changes for about 285 co-op properties. (The number reviewed is larger than the number of co-ops because some co-ops have multiple assessment addresses. Even so, a small number of co-ops are excluded from the counts.)
The average assessed value went up by an amount just shy of 20%. The increase in median value was a little lower at 16.7%. Interestingly, one in seven co-op properties saw decreases or no change at all in assessed value. The co-op portfolio in BC as a whole represents more than $4.3 billion.
Co-ops should remember that increases in assessed value do not translate directly into property tax increases. Only if your property value increases more than the average in your area will you see proportionally higher tax increases (compared to other property owners). And homeowner grants may have an offsetting effect. Appealing an assessment is an option, but you’ll need to take quick action to secure your right to appeal: the deadline is January 31.
Co-ops will sometimes make appeals on their own, sometimes with the assistance of management companies, and sometimes they seek help from professional consultants. On a couple of occasions, CHF BC has spearheaded group appeals. This year, we’re focused on providing information and researching trends.
Although we are not making any recommendations, we know of a couple of firms that have worked with co-ops in the recent past: AEC (Vance Leschuk, email: firstname.lastname@example.org) and Collingwood Appraisals Ltd. (Ed Landry, tel: 604-526-5000 xt. 225). AEC regularly participates in Housing Central’s fall affordable housing conference; Collingwood Appraisals has worked with the Agency for Co-operative Housing and multiple co-ops. The latter firm also worked on one of CHF BC’s past group appeals.
Some firms will charge hourly rate 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. If your assessment has gone up significantly, you may want to appeal.
The BC Assessment website has information you’ll find helpful. However your co-op decides to proceed, please remember the deadline for filing an appeal is January 31, 2018.