Property Assessments

If you hold real estate in the City of Port Coquitlam, you are responsible for paying property taxes. City governments use property assessments to determine what tax rate they must set to raise the revenue needed to pay for public services, such as police and fire protection, recreation, parks, road improvements and new infrastructure.

The BC Assessment Authority is the independent Crown agency that assesses the market value of all property in British Columbia.

Property assessment and taxation is two-part process:

  • BC Assessment determines the market value of properties as of July 1, and sends property owners a Property Assessment Notice on December 31.
  • Municipal governments and other tax authorities set tax rates that are applied to the assessed value, and then send property owners a tax notice.

The City of Port Coquitlam determines each year’s property taxes by applying the assessed market value of your property to current tax rates.

2017 BC Property Assessment

In Port Coquitlam the average single family house assessment increased by 35.55% from 2016, an average strata property increased by 30.32% from 2016 with an average residential increase of 33.86%. The average assessment increase for all properties was 29.51%. A summary provided by BC Assessment shows the average increase for various Port Coquitlam neighbourhoods:

Visit e-valueBC to search your property, compare your assessment with your neighbours’ assessed values and review the recent sales of nearby properties to see if your assessment is reasonable.

Enter your address and choose either neighbouring properties or sample properties as shown below:

If you any questions or concerns, please contact BC Assessment at 1.866.valueBC (825.8322).

If you are concerned about your assessment, you can appeal to the independent Property Assessment Review Panel (PARP).The deadline to appeal your 2017 Assessment is January 31. Property Assessment Review Panels hear assessment complaints between February 1st and March 15th of each year. If you are still not satisfied with the panel decision, you can then file another appeal to the Property Assessment Review Panel (PARP).

Impact on property taxes

Increases in your property assessment does not mean automatically mean that your 2017 property-tax bill will increase by 29.51%.

  • If the property’s assessment increase is the same as the average assessment increase for Port Coquitlam, then its property taxes will rise by only the amount of the average tax increase to be set by Council for 2017.
  • If the property assessment increase is higher than the city average, then the property tax increase will be more than average for 2017.
  • If the property assessment increase is lower than the city average, the tax increase will be lower than average for 2017.

In 2017, the home owner grant threshold is $1.6 million. The Home Owner Grant is  a reduction in the school taxes for a property owner. The reduction in home owner grants will result in an increase to the amount of school tax payable to the province, not an increase to the city’s taxation.

For properties assessed above the threshold, the grant is reduced by $5 for every $1,000 of assessed value in excess of the threshold.

For more information on property assessment, consult the Frequently Asked Questions below.

Frequently Asked Questions

How Does your Assessment Relate to your Taxes?

Many property owners believe a high property assessment increase means high increases in property taxes. This is not necessarily the case.

If the City’s operating budget is $100 million, for example, it will be $100 million whether the average residential property is worth $200,000 or $400,000. The value of the properties does not determine the costs of the City’s programs and services. 

What does affect your property tax rate, however, is how our property’s assessed value compares to the average assessed value of other homes.

For example, let’s say the average residential assessment increased by 15% in a given year. If your assessment increased by more than 15% that year, your taxes will increase more than the average property. If your assessment increased less than 15%, your taxes will increase less than the average property.

What is the Home Owners Grant Threshold?

The Ministry of Finance has announced that the 2016 Home Owners Grant threshold will increase to $1.6 million, up from $1.2 million in 2015. This means homes must be assessed at less than $1.2 million to receive the full grant.

For properties assessed above the threshold, the grant is reduced by $5 for every $1,000 of assessed value in excess of the threshold.

What is an Assessment and How is it Made?

An assessment is the determination of a property’s market value as of July 1 each year.

BC Assessment has a professional appraisal staff and an extensive database that is continuously updated with information gathered through appraisal inspections, Land Title Office changes, and building permit and zoning information forwarded from municipalities, government departments, regional districts and other organizations, and from property sales of similar properties in the area.

All BC properties are mailed a Property Assessment Notice each December 31 that shows the property’s market value and contains other important information about the property.

What is ‘Market Value’?

In general terms, market value is the expected price if a reasonable amount of time is allowed to find a purchaser for the property, and both the seller and prospective buyer are fully informed. For assessment purposes in British Columbia, market value is the most probable price an unencumbered property would sell for on the open market on the July 1st assessment date.

How is the Tax Rate Determined?

The City budget sets how much City taxes are to be collected. When average assessments increase, the City tax rates are adjusted downward to compensate for the increase in assessments. The above applies to the City portion of your tax bill.

The City is also required to collect taxes for other government charges including School Tax, Greater Vancouver Regional District, Translink and BC Assessment. These other charges represent approximately 40% of your municipal property tax bill. The other government agencies set their own tax levy.

What if I Disagree with the Assessment?

If property owners disagree with the estimate of their property’s market value, or believe their property was improperly classified, they should contact:

BC Assessment, North Fraser Region
#420-2700 Production Way
Burnaby, BC  V5A 4X1
Tel 604.294.6441
Toll Free 1.800.661.6343
Fax  604.294.8193
Email northfraser@bcassessment.ca
www.bcassessment.ca

Upon receiving your complaint, BC Assessment will review the assessment, and if a change or correction is required, will recommend the changes to a property assessment review panel on behalf of the property owner.

If property owners still disagree with the assessment after talking with BC Assessment, they may request an independent review before a property assessment review panel. The request must be delivered in writing to BC Assessment no later than January 31.

What is the Property Assessment Review Panel?

The Property Assessment Review Panel is a three-member panel appointed annually by the provincial government to review property assessments. The panel is independent of BC Assessment and the municipality, and ensures that the review is fair and impartial.

The panel hears evidence to determine if a property has been valued or classified correctly, or if exemptions were properly applied. Only property assessments may be reviewed, not property taxes.

Contact

BC Assessment, North Fraser Region
Tel 604.294.6441
Toll Free 1.800.661.6343
Email northfraser@bcassessment.ca
www.bcassessment.ca

Location and Mailing Address

#420-2700 Production Way
Burnaby, BC  V5A 4X1