Richard Boyer received a letter from BC Assessment warning him of an increase in his property value.

Richard Boyer received a letter from BC Assessment warning him of an increase in his property value.

BC Assessment triggers complaints from homeowners

White Rock homeowner Richard Boyer said his assessment is inaccurate because it's not factoring in the new foreign-buyers tax.

BC Assessment sent approximately 4,200 courtesy letters to South Surrey and White Rock property owners this month warning of substantial increases.

More than two dozen residents have contacted Surrey-White Rock MLA Gordon Hogg’s office to question the accuracy of the latest property-value assessment, which was done before the implementation of a 15 per cent foreign-buyers tax.

White Rock homeowner Richard Boyer received his letter last week, advising that his property value has increased by approximately 60 per cent.

Boyer told Peace Arch News his assessment is inaccurate because it’s not factoring in the new foreign-buyers tax on Metro Vancouver real estate, which took effect Aug. 2.

BC Assessment’s uniform valuation date was July 1.

“What I’m saying is, they need to do another assessment, because this assessment is in July when the prices were at peak,” Boyer told PAN. “Right after they put the tax in… prices have gone down quite a bit. People are paying taxes on something that’s not there.

“This needs to be known what this actually means to people. In my case, this probably means $1,000 to $2,000 more in taxes. I’m on a fixed income now, I retired back in 2008. This is going to start hurting people on a fixed income.”

Hogg, however, said a sharp increase in property value does not automatically translate to more taxes.

BC Assessment released a preview of Metro Vancouver property assessments Dec. 6 and notes taxes are affected by assessment changes compared to the average change in your community.

“There are other variables, the other variable being what happened to everybody else’s assessment,” Hogg said.

Official assessments are expected be mailed to residents at the beginning of the new year. Property owners have until Jan. 31 to file an appeal.

Hogg’s constituents have contacted him by email, phone and in person, and “virtually all of them are going away thinking they’re going to appeal it.”

Brian Smith, BC Assessment spokesperson for Fraser Valley, responded to PAN’s questions by email, saying it’s too early for BC Assessment to speculate if there will be more appeals than the average two per cent per year.

Hogg, however, assumed that there would be more appeals than usual.

“Yeah, I would expect that there would be, given the change to the foreign-buyers taxation,” the MLA said.

“We have an example in our office. Somebody’s property was valued at $813,000, then went up to $868,000, and now it’s up to $1.5 million.”

The foreign-buyers tax is legislation aimed at addressing low vacancy rates and high real-estate prices in Metro Vancouver.

“Certainly, if you’re sitting at home and you’re seeing your assessed value jumping that much, you’re going to have some concerns,” Hogg said.

Boyer also raised his concern with the homeowner grant’s $1.2-million eligibility threshold.

“Bring it above $1.5 million or something. Majority of homes are above that ($1.2 million) now, except for condos and other things like that. Any detached home is going to be assessed at this new assessment over the ($1.2 million),” Boyer said.

B.C.’s Home Owner Grant reduces the amount of property tax paid on a principal residence.

Hogg said he has contacted the Ministry of Finance to discuss the grant but said he cannot comment on upcoming budgets because it affects the marketplace.

“One of the questions we’ve asked is whether or not they’re exploring a change to the threshold with respect to the homeowner’s grant,” he said.

Hogg said he put in the call to the ministry last week and was told the threshold may be revisited in the February budget.

BC Assessment’s website says increases of 30 to 50 per cent will be typical for single-family homes in Surrey, and typical strata residential increases will be in the 15 to 30 per cent range. Commercial and industrial properties throughout the Greater Vancouver area will also see increases in the 10 to 30 per cent range.

Just Posted

William Henry Rawlison was last seen on Sunday, June 20, 2021. (Contributed photo)
Police looking for missing White Rock senior

William Rawlison, last seen on June 20, may be driving to Kamloops

Natalie Brown and Colten Wilke star in the feature film Thunderbird, co-produced by South Surrey-raised Michael Morrison and released this month in Canada, the U.S and the U.K. (Contributed photo)
South Surrey-raised producer helps bring ‘Thunderbird’ to the screen

Michael Morrison guides B.C.-shot thriller with First Nations connection

File photo
Surrey Board of Trade vows ‘a lot of noise’ will be made about tax increases

Huberman calls for comprehensive tax review at all levels of government

2019 Red Serge Gala guests try their luck at roulette. (Simon Lau photo)
High hopes for in-person Red Serge Gala on Semiahmoo Peninsula

28th fundraiser for community safety programs set for Oct. 23 return

TEASER PHOTO ONLY - Hillcrest Drive-In's sign at the end its run in Surrey, in a photo uploaded to by hermangotlieb.
SURREY NOW & THEN: The city’s last drive-in, Hillcrest showed movies for 50 years on site turned shopping mall

‘It was a good memory, being the last drive-in in the Lower Mainland, at the time,’ says former operator Jay Daulat

The border crossing into the United States is seen during the COVID-19 pandemic in Lacolle, Que. on February 12, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Paul Chiasson
VIDEO: Border quarantine to soon lift for fully vaccinated Canadians

Eligible travellers must still take multiple COVID-19 tests

Chilliwack secondary school’s principal is apologizing after a quote equating graduation with the end of slavery in the U.S. was included in the 2020-2021 yearbook. (Screenshot from submitted SnapChat)
B.C. student’s yearbook quote equates grad to end of slavery; principal cites editing error

Black former student ‘disgusted’ as CSS principal apologizes for what is called an editing error

Skeena MLA Ellis Ross. (Photo by Peter Versteege)
BC Liberal leadership candidate condemns ‘senseless violence’ of Okanagan church fires

Skeena MLA Ellis Ross says reconciliation isn’t about revenge for past tragedies

A coroner’s inquest will be taking place at the Capitol Theatre in Port Alberni for the next week. (ELENA RARDON / ALBERNI VALLEY NEWS)
Teen B.C. mom who died following police custody recalled as ‘friend to many’

Police sent Jocelyn George to hospital after intoxication had gone ‘beyond the realm’ of normal detox

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

FILE - In this Nov. 29, 2020, file photo, Las Vegas Raiders defensive end Carl Nassib leaves the field after an NFL football game against the Atlanta Falcons in Atlanta. Nassib on Monday, June 21, 2021, became the first active NFL player to come out as gay. Nassib announced the news on Instagram, saying he was not doing it for the attention but because “I just think that representation and visibility are so important.” (AP Photo/John Bazemore, File)
Nassib becomes first active NFL player to come out as gay

More than a dozen NFL players have come out as gay after their careers were over

Penticton Indian Band Chief Greg Gabriel speaks to the Sacred Hearts Catholic Church burning down early Monday morning, June 21, 2021. (Monique Tamminga Western News)
Penticton band chief condemns suspicious burning of 2 Catholic churches

Both Catholic church fires are deemed suspicious, says RCMP

COVID-19 daily cases reported to B.C. public health, seven-day moving average to June 17, 2021. (B.C. Centre for Disease Control)
B.C.’s COVID-19 infections drop to 90 on Sunday, 45 Monday

Pandemic spread dwindles as 77% of adults receive vaccine

By protesting uninvited in First Nations’ territories, conservationists are acting in a neocolonial or paternalistic manner, says Huu-ay-aht Chief Robert Dennis. Photo by Heather Thomson
A closer look: do Vancouver Island First Nations support the war in the woods?

First Nations/environmentalist old growth alliance uneasy, if it exists at all

Most Read