2017 Property Taxes and BC Assessment Property Assessment Notices
Setting the Record Straight
Posted May 25, 2017
This information is being provided to assist residents in understanding changes in their 2017 Property Tax Notices.
Earlier this year, BC Assessment sent all property owners across the province a Property Assessment Notice informing homeowners of their fair market property assessment as of July 1, 2016. BC Assessment is a provincial Crown corporation that classifies and values all real property in BC. You can find more information on the BC Assessment website.
In BC, municipalities are required to collect their annual municipal tax revenue based on BC Assessment property values. The change in property taxes from year to year primarily depends on the change in the assessed value of the property relative to the rest of the residential properties in the City. Municipal property taxes are also impacted by increases in the City Budget as approved by City Council. Property Tax notices are comprised of 2 main components, municipal and non-municipal taxes. The City budget only impacts the municipal tax component.
As reported by BC Assessment, Abbotsford residential property assessments increased this year by an average of 32.8%. It is important to note that a 32.8% increase in a property's assessed value does not mean there will be a corresponding 32.8% increase in municipal property taxes.
BC Assessment has provided information to the City of Abbotsford that indicates approximately 2000 properties have experienced a higher than average assessment increase. Depending on the level of Assessment increase, there will be a more significant impact on some property’s municipal Property Taxes than others.
BC Assessment has also assessed several properties in Abbotsford at a lesser value over previous years, which will result in these properties receiving a Property Tax decrease.
Section 197 of the Community Charter requires City Council to adopt a bylaw to impose tax rates on all taxable land and improvements according to their assessed values before May 15th of each year. The 2017 tax rate bylaw for the City of Abbotsford was adopted by City Council on May 12th with an approved budget increase of 2.13% (2017-2021 Financial Plan Bylaw adopted December 5, 2016). Municipal Property Tax Notices were mailed to property owners in May 2017. Residents can also look-up their property taxes on the City’s website.
The City has prepared some frequently asked questions about municipal property taxes to further support resident’s in understanding their property taxes this year, and BC Assessment has an informational video to help understand the Assessment and property taxes.
The graph shown below (Figure 1) represents an approximate relationship between property assessment increases and changes in total property taxes. Total Property tax is made up of both Municipal tax and Non-municipal tax.
Municipal Tax: Police, Fire Rescue Service, Bylaw Service, Parks, Recreation & Culture, Engineering and Transportation Services, Solid Waste, Planning & Development Services, Transit, and other General Government Services
Non-municipal Tax: Taxes collected for other agencies, such as School Board, Hospital, Fraser Valley Regional District, BC Assessment and Municipal Finance Authority
In December 2016, the City Council approved a municipal budget increase of 2.13% for the 2017 budget year.
However, given that properties experienced higher than normal increases in property assessment values in 2016, the total property tax increases may vary. If your property has an assessed value increase equal to the average Abbotsford increase of 32.8%, your total property taxes would increase by approximately 3% as indicated in the graph below. If your assessed value increased by an amount that is higher or lower than the average assessment, your property tax change will vary accordingly, as referenced in the graph below.
If you have any questions or concerns relating to your municipal property tax notice, please feel free to email the City of Abbotsford’s Finance Department.