Langley Township home owners are experiencing a bit of sticker shock after collecting their mail this week, with many discovering their single family homes have climbed 30 to 50 per cent in assessed values over last year.
BC Assessment said detached houses in the Fraser Valley saw such a large increase because the homes were assessed during the real estate frenzy that occurred this past spring and early summer.
According to the BC Assessment website, the most expensive home in Langley is at 19683 0 Avenue, right beside High Point. It is valued at $15.44 million. The 29.4 acre property was the second most valuable in all of the Fraser Valley. The region’s most expensive home, valued at $24.5 million, is in South Surrey. Its value skyrocketed 51 per cent over last year’s assessment.
Karen Sinclair, acting director of finance for the Township, said the jump in assessments does not necessarily mean a huge property tax increase. Municipalities eliminate the effect of an ‘average’ assessed value increase by reducing their tax rates, she said.
For example, last year, the average property assessment increase was eight per cent in the Township. Obviously, this year, the average will be a lot more, she said.
If your home value increases by an amount that is close to the average for the Township, you won’t see an increase in property taxes. But if your assessment increase is above the average then you will pay more come tax time, said Sinclair.
But the increase in assessments doesn’t mean a big windfall for the Township coffers, said Sinclair.
For those paying more property taxes because of a major jump in assessment, there will be those who will pay less taxes because they experienced an increase in the value of their home that was less than the average, she explained.
“This [assessment increase] is not an automatic revenue stream for the Township,” she said. “But that isn’t much peace of mind for people who have seen their assessments double in value from last year. I’ve spoken to some people who have had their property assessment almost double.”
For homes that have climbed past $1.2 million — many of which have in Murrayville, Walnut Grove and south Langley — the amount of Home Owner Grant they are eligible for decreases by $5 for every $1,000 of assessed value greater than $1.2 million threshold.
The municipal property tax for a house valued at $550,000 in 2016 was $1,718, with a total tax bill including school and utilities of $4,150.
Owners of more than 476,000 properties throughout the Fraser Valley can expect to receive their 2017 assessment notices which reflect market value as of July 1, 2016.
“The majority of residential home owners within the region can expect an increase compared to last year’s assessment,” said deputy assessor Brian Smith.
“The majority of residential properties throughout the region will see assessment increases in the range of 30 per cent to 50 per cent.”
If a person wants to appeal the increase, property owners may submit a Notice of Complaint by Jan. 31 for an independent review by a Property Assessment Review Panel.
While new property assessments of detached houses are up 30 to 50 per cent in urban areas of Metro Vancouver and the Fraser Valley, the numbers haven’t climbed quite as fast for condos and townhouses.
Strata units typically saw gains of 15 to 30 per cent in the Fraser Valley, according to B.C. Assessment.
To see your home’s assessed value go to https://evaluebc.bcassessment.ca/.