The 2012 BC Assessment roll has been released, with Langley seeing a significant difference in property value increases between residential lots and commercial land.
Residential Strata properties saw a one per cent decrease to one per cent increase in value, and single family homes saw 0.3 to three per cent increase.
Commercial properties on the other hand saw five to 20 per cent increases in value, and industrial lands five to 10 per cent increases.
One of the major property value changes occurred at the Walmart on 202 Street and 66 Avenue, which after going through a major expansion, has increased in value by 17 per cent from $83 million in 2011 to $97.2 million in 2012.
Currently, the total value on the assessment roll in Langley is $22.1 billion, up from $21.47 billion in 2011. On March 15, an adjusted number will be released for the 2012 roll, to takei into account any appeals made by property owners.
Every year on July 1, BC Assessment establishes values for every property, followed by a physical condition inspection on Oct. 31. These two assessments are combined with the selling prices of similar homes, to create a final assessed value.
Properties are assessed at market value, with only a few exemptions including continuous structures such as hydro lines, pipelines and railroad tracks, major industrial properties such as sawmills, farm properties and, in some cases, certain residential properties.
BC Assessment values are then used to help set property taxes.
“The key goal that we have is to ensure that taxes are distributed as fairly and evenly as possible across properties,” Trevor Brown, senior appraiser at BC Assessment, told Township council on Jan. 16.
Over the past 10 years, property values have increased significantly.
Brown cited an example of a typical residential property in 2001, worth $251,000. It has since increased in value by 101 per cent to $505,000 in 2011. In relation, property taxes have increased only by 40 per cent over the same time period.
“Although there is a relationship, it is not dollar for dollar by any means,” he said.
For those homeowners who feel their property has been incorrectly valued, an appeal can be made for free to the Property Assessment Review Panel (PARP) until Jan. 31 online at www.bcassessment.ca/public/Pages/AppealingyourAssessment.aspx or by calling the Fraser Valley BC Assessment office at 604-850-5900.
Those who make an appeal are responsible for providing evidence that a mistake has been made, generally through the selling prices of comparable homes in the area.
“What the process is geared towards is looking at market evidence. So there is an onus to produce evidence to show that the assessment is incorrect,” Brown said.
The process includes an inquiry and assessment of the property owner’s evidence, followed by an onsite inspection.
PARP hearings take place between Feb. 1 and March 15, and are optional to attend.
If unhappy with the PARP decision, a second level of appeal can be made to the Property Assessment Appeal Board by April 30. For more information, visit www.assessmentappeal.bc.ca.