Hundreds of Oak Bay landowners get early assessment warning

Assessed values jump 10 to 40 per cent for 400 to 500 properties

Mayor Nils Jensen

BC Assessment warns some Oak Bay property owners their assessed value could jump 10 to 40 per cent this year.

Warning letters went out last week to property owners who will see a significant increase above the average for 2017.

“We’re going to have a lot of people in Oak Bay notified,” said mayor Nils Jensen. “There are about 400 or 500 people whose assessed value will go up higher than the average.”

The Greater Victoria real estate market saw increased activity this year with major increases in residential and commercial values. The 2017 assessment values reflect the market on July 1.

“The preliminary market analysis for 2017 assessments indicates significant increases over the 2016 property assessment year,” said Christopher Whyte, acting assessor. “Increases of 10 to 40 per cent will be typical for single-family homes in Victoria, Saanich, Sidney and Oak Bay. Typical strata residential increases will be in the five to 25 per cent range.”

Commercial and industrial properties throughout Greater Victoria will see increases around five to 15 per cent. Commercial properties bought for eventual redevelopment will often exceed these ranges.

“It is important to understand that large increases in property assessments do not automatically translate into a corresponding increase in property taxes,” adds Whyte. “It all depends how your actual property assessment changes compared to the average change in your community.”

Property owners will receive their annual assessment notices in early January, but  this month BC Assessment is notifying property owners whose assessments increased significantly more than the typical range of change.

“Anyone who’s assessed value goes up the average, will get the average increase in taxes,” Jensen said. “If you go up the average, you go up the average (municipal tax) increase. If your house sees a huge leap (in assessment) you will see a more than average increase (in municipal taxes).”

“It is important to understand that large increases in property assessments do not automatically translate into a corresponding increase in property taxes,” Whyte said. “It all depends how your actual property assessment changes compared to the average change in your community.”

Residents can challenge an assessed value.

“There are cases where people’s assessed value have been reduced,” Jensen noted.

While there is an appeal process, BC Assessment recommends residents contact them, as most cases are resolved through conversation with staff.

The 2017 assessments are available online at www.bcassessment.ca after Jan. 3.