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.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Volunteers from Semiahmoo Secondary joined with members of the Lower Mainland Green Team and the White Rock and South Surrey Naturalists Wednesday to remove invasive plants from White Rock’s Ruth Johnson Park. (Contributed photo)
Students, volunteers remove invasive plants from White Rock’s Ruth Johnson Park

Day-long project a collaboration between city, Lower Mainland Green Team

Labour Minister Harry Bains addressing Surrey Board of Trade digital meeting Friday. (Screen shot)
Labour Minister says Surrey businesses’ resilience through pandemic ‘impressive’

‘Surrey’s effort in bending the curve has been among the best,’ Harry Bains says

Raj Singh Toor (left) with Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudea after an official apology for the treatment of Komagata Maru passengers in 1914. (Contributed photo)
Request made for City of White Rock to honour Komagata Maru passengers

Raj Singh Toor confident city will rename ‘street, park or city asset’ in honour of 1914 tragedy

A memorial to Hudson Brooks grew quickly outside the South Surrey RCMP detachment following his July 2015 death at the hands of police. (File photo)
Inquest yields ‘sliver of justice’ for South Surrey’s Hudson Brooks: brother

Beau Brooks says he’s not optimistic call for increased RCMP training will bear fruit

Provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry updates B.C. on the COVID-19 situation. (B.C. government)
Dr. Bonnie Henry predicts a ‘post-pandemic world’ for B.C. this summer

‘Extending this second dose provides very high real-world protection to more people, sooner’

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

Malawian police guard AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccines after the shipment arrived in Lilongwe, Malawi, Friday March 5, 2021. Canada is expecting its first shipments of AstraZeneca vaccine next week. (Associated Press/Thoko Chikondi)
B.C.’s daily COVID-19 cases climb to 634 Friday, four more deaths

Currently 255 people in hospital, 66 in intensive care

A crashed helicopter is seen near Mt. Gardner on Bowen Island on Friday March 5, 2021. Two people were taken to hospital in serious but stable condition after the crash. (Irene Paulus/contributed)
2 people in serious condition after helicopter goes down on Bowen Island

Unclear how many passengers aboard and unclear where the helicopter was going

Supporters rally outside court as Pastor James Coates of GraceLife Church is in court to appeal bail conditions, after he was arrested for holding day services in violation of COVID-19 rules, in Edmonton, Alta., on Thursday March 4, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jason Franson
‘Law remains valid:’ Pastor accused of violating health orders to remain in jail

The Justice Centre for Constitutional Freedoms is representing the pastor

The Netflix logo on an iPhone. B.C. delayed imposing sales tax on digital services and sweetened carbonated beverages as part of its response to COVID-19. Those taxes take effect April 1, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/AP, Matt Rourke
B.C. applies 7% sales tax on streaming, vaping, sweet drinks April 1

Measures from 2020 budget were delayed due to COVID-19

Chief Don Tom of the Tsartlip First Nation was outraged after Green MLA Adam Olsen revealed on social media that the community had been experiencing a COVID-19 outbreak – a fact the First Nation had chosen to keep private to avoid racist backlash as experienced by the Cowichan Tribes when an outbreak was declared there in January. (Black Press Media file photo)
B.C. First Nation ‘outraged’ after Green MLA reveals COVID-19 outbreak

Tsartlip First Nation chief shares concerns about racist backlash, MLA apologizes

A lawyer wears a face mask and gloves to curb the spread of COVID-19 while waiting to enter B.C. Supreme Court, in Vancouver, B.C., Friday, Aug. 28, 2020. British Columbia’s highest court has sided with the land owner in a dispute over public access to public land. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
B.C. high court finds in favour of large landowner in fight over access to pair of lakes

The Nicola Valley Fish and Game Club launched legal action after the cattle company blocked road and trail access

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau holds a press conference in Ottawa Friday, March 5, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Sean Kilpatrick
Trudeau holds firm on premiers’ health-care funding demands, COVID-19 aid comes first

Premiers argue that the current amount doesn’t keep pace with yearly cost increases of about five per cent

Most Read