Property tax & assesments

I was in an airport in Southern California this morning when I spotted this headline on USA Today and upon my return to town it made me take notice of this article in the Vancouver Province about the recent property tax increase in Vancouver..

Every so often we post a story about property taxes in Vancouver and inevitably someone posts a comment based on the assumption that higher assessment values mean higher property taxes. Of course property taxes in Vancouver aren’t like PST or GST and someone always seems to be around to point out that fact – property assessment values in Vancouver only determine your share of the total tax burden compared to your neighbors property. Higher property values don’t create a property tax windfall for local governments, in fact – if we can base anything on the US example, by the time government gets around to grabbing more property tax based on inflated property values the boom is already over.

So what’s going on here? Is it just that governments move at a pace that’s too slow to react to market changes? Are we at the tail end of a boom locally? Are we due to hear complaints about taxes based on “unrealistic property assessments” or will the recent Vancouver property tax increases simply be absorbed painlessly into future appreciation?

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What's wrong with this weather? Everyone wants to live here and they will pay any price to do so right?

the pope

Thanks for your thoughts guys – I agree that taxes will have a tendency to rise whether home prices go up or down as they are in the US.Offtopic: Geez this was depressing weather to return to after strolling around in shorts and a T shirt. I know its going to warm up here soon, I've just got to hold on for another month or so.


Thoughts:-BC Assessment is one of the most progressive and responsive assessment organizations in North America. Lots of counties & municipalities do a really poor job.-Your 2007 assessment is based on a valuation date of July 1, 2006 so if the market swings fast, there will always be a lag.-As the City of Vancouver redistributes more of the tax burden on residential properties, they will be more sensitive to changes.-City budgets keep rising, and there is a lot of talk these days about the feds downloading to the provinces, and the provinces downloading to the municipalities. For various resons, budgets tend to rise, not fall.(I don't work for BCA or a government.)


If property taxes went up significantly, it would have an effect on the number of vacation home owners in Vancouver. One of the advantages to owning a second home here is the low tax rate.