Thousands warned of property value spike

Early notifications go out to homes that face assessment jump of more than 15 per cent

An unusually high number of Metro Vancouver homeowners are being warned they will get a sharply higher property assessment next month that may trigger an unwelcome property tax increase.

BC Assessment says it has sent out 37,000 early notification letters across B.C., with almost two-thirds of them going to Metro Vancouver home owners. That’s significantly more than most years.

“Early notification letters are mailed to property owners who can expect an increase of at least 15 per cent above the average increase in their local taxing jurisdiction,” said assessor Jason Grant.

“We want to ensure impacted property owners are aware of the significant increases and we welcome them to contact us. if they have any questions or concerns.”

Increases of 15 to 25 per cent will be typical for single-family detached houses in Vancouver, the North Shore, Burnaby, Tri Cities, New Westminster, Richmond and Surrey, Grant said.

He said typical strata residential increases will be in the five to 10 per cent range.

Examples of the sort of increases coming in the Surrey area include a 1981 detached house in South Surrey that will see its 2016 assessment climb 10 per cent to $790,000 from $716,000, as well as a 1983 house in Fleetwood that’s up 11 per cent from $514,000 to $573,000.

The final assessments that go out in early January reflect the market value as of July 1.