LETTER: Many factors considered to produce property assessment

B.C. Assessment’s role, independent of municipalities and taxing authorities, is to produce accurate and equitable property assessments

Re: Assessment vs. market value (News, Jan. 30)

Thank you for publishing the article about assessments. I thought it would be helpful to provide a few clarifications on some of the information provided.

As a Crown corporation, B.C. Assessment’s role, independent of municipalities and taxing authorities, is to produce accurate and equitable property assessments throughout B.C. in accordance with the Assessment Act. The assessed values, which form the basis for taxes levied by municipalities, are produced independent of any tax authority.

B.C. Assessment has approximately 380 professional appraisal staff and an extensive database that is updated with information gathered through aerial photos, inspections, satellite imagery, 3D modelling and street-front photos.

Municipal and provincial agencies inform B.C. Assessment of every sale that takes place in the province and provides details on all building permit approvals to assist in valuing property.

In fact, everyone is encouraged to report property updates to B.C. Assessment online or through self-reporting and we receive hundreds of submissions from property owners each year.

BC Assessment considers a property’s unique characteristics, including location, size, layout, shape, age, finish, quality, carports, garages, sundecks and condition of buildings. All these variables are considered when valuing each property and producing an annual assessment.

Market forces vary from year to year and from property to property. The market value on an assessment notice may differ from that shown on a real estate appraisal because B..C Assessment’s appraisal reflects the value as of July 1 of the previous year, while a private appraisal can be done at any time.

B.C. Assessment has launched a newly-enhanced version of its free e-valueBC service that allows the general public to search, check and compare properties online from across the province. Improved navigation, an interactive map and inclusion of property street-front imagery are among the new features.

For more information about property assessments and how they relate to market value, please go online tobcassessment.ca.

Connie Fair, President and CEO, B.C. Assessment