Gordon Campbell has pledged to freeze BC property tax assessments at their 2007 level to ‘help people cope with turbulence in property values’. I’m trying to figure out the motivation for this move, perhaps to people that don’t understand property tax it seems like a relief? Our property tax system is not set up like California, where property tax is dependent on the assessed value. The crashing California real estate market has meant less money flowing into government coffers, leaving cities scrambling to make their budgets work.
In Vancouver your property tax assessment only matters in its relation to your neighbors. Every house price in Vancouver could drop across the board by 50% and the property tax paid by each owner would remain the same. This protects city tax income, but can be tougher on tax payers.
Tax assessments in Vancouver are done in July, which coincidentally was very close to our market peak. Freezing assessments at their 2007 value may help to make it appear house prices haven’t fallen as far as they have if the 2008 assessments are never made public. I don’t believe this is a motivating factor though, since the REBGV benchmark price and average sales price data still paints a more complete picture.