(Video) Do Property Taxes Increase as Much As Your Property Assessment? Interview with AdLaw Appraisals

Part 2 of 3 questions about property assessments & home values with Adam Lawrenson. Our expert interview explaining things you need to know about real estate and mortgages in Canada, Vancouver and the lower mainland on for the week of January 30th 2017. Special Guest Adam Lawrenson of Adlaw Appraisals joins us today to give us some advice on appraisals & assessments.

This series of videos is inspired by the following explanation of Property Assessments & Appraisals that Adam wrote in January 2017, read below:

Death and Taxes in 2017

OK, how about just taxes? There is lots of talk about the property tax assessment that arrived January 1, 2017 in British Columbia. At Adlaw Appraisals, we deal with mortgage brokers and homeowners on a daily basis. As an appraiser with over 10 years experience I must add that your assessed value does not equal your current market value. An appraisal (for purchase, refinance, other) should be a an estimate of the most probable sale price given market exposure, , 0-90 days, etc. The depth of research for an appraisal for a sale, a refinance or for the purposes of marketing (listing appraisal) should include the same in depth analysis of the demand and supply of that housing type in the immediate area. Your 2017 Property Tax Assessment is value for tax purposes based on mass appraisal tactics and a valuation date of July 1, 2016. Not entirely relevant when it comes to knowing what your home is actually worth.

My view after 2+ years experience working at BC Assessment: property taxes are good for distributing taxes evenly among the citizens of a given jurisdiction, which is a tax on wealth versus a tax on income or a tax on consumption. Property mill or tax rates SHOULD decrease with large increases in market values, as we have recently experienced, resulting in a moderate increase in the overall tax bill. So please do not have a massive heart attack when you see a 40% increase in your assessed value; this is simply the tax man playing catch up year over year. If all your neighbors values increase as well (which they should) the property taxes owed should only increase at a moderate rate. (typically 2-4%).

A professional appraiser should be sought out when looking to determine a value for mortgage financing of any type, as well for any litigation and tax purposes. Look for a qualified member of the Appraisal Institute of Canada (CRA or AACI designations). Many homeowner's will talk to their friendly neighborhood realtor to get information on their home value. A realtor is more informative when it comes to advising on values within the context of a potential listing or purchase and can be helpful when it comes to local real estate matters.

When it comes to property values in BC, here is my summary:

BC Assessment Value: Typically inaccurate (for a variety of reasons) and good only for distributing the tax base. (Assessed Value)

Realtor: Imperative when buying or selling real estate. Can provide you with a comparative market analysis. (CMA)

Appraiser: Can deliver an accurate valuation of a property as of a certain date which can be relied on by financial institutions, lawyers and government agencies (Appraisal)

Our home in Tsawwassen increased 41% - I know it is not a good indicator of my current market value and I know that my taxes will not increase at that same rate...probably 2-4% as per usual. If, after reading this, you are still irate about your recent 2017 property tax assessment, click below to appeal your value:

Click TO Appeal

Complete this appeal before January 31  and then give Adlaw Appraisals a call to assist in lowering your assessed value. Adlaw can help you appeal the value and perhaps lower your tax bill. Reach out to us for more information.

Thanks for much for reading, have a good one!

Adam Lawrenson, AACI