Thursday January 12, 2012

City Hall News

The Taxman Cometh

Chilliwack assessments reflect an inflationary tax increase at most

Staff/Voice/Shaw TV images


len Neufeldt, Senior Appraiser with the BC Assessment Authority made a presentation to council regarding changes in property owners assessments this year.                                                        


Glen Neufeldt, BC Assessment Authority at City Hall Tuesday to explain taxes.


Neufeldt told council the Authority’s role in assessing any property is based on; valuation , classification, exemptions, ownership, address changes, subdivisions and new construction.


The Valuation date is July 1st and then another check is made on the physical condition by October 1st.


“For the majority of properties assessed, their assessed value is their market value,” said Neufeldt adding that “market value is defined as the most probable price the property should be in a competitive market under all conditions requisite to a fair sale the buyer and seller, each acting prudently, knowledgeably and assuming the price is not affected by undue stimulus.”


Factors the Authority considers in their assessment include; location, age, condition, style, land size and selling price.


Neufeldt said that Continuous Structures like train tracks and power lines, Major Industrial Properties (MIPS) have legislated rates set in cabinet. Farms that meet the annual income requirement and properties 2-10 acres in size and any property that falls under Section 19-8 where properties are assessed less than their market value, where that market value is based upon a higher and better use.In Chilliwack, around 30,500 properties were assessed in the 2012 roll.


“Approximately 90% of your properties fall in the residential classification, with the remaining being mostly in the Class 9 Farm and Class 6 Business and Other,” he said.


  • Residential Stratas: -3 to +3% increase

  • Single Family dwelling: -5 to 3% increase

  • Commercial: -5 to 5% increase

  • Development Land: -5 to 0% increase


Gaetz spoke directly to the GM of Operational Services, Chris Crosman saying “people are starting to look at their assessments, they’re really concerned about if their assessments have gone way up, whether their taxes will go way up and it’s one of the questions I get most often, so if you could please talk about what effect this would have on the average homeowner, that would be helpful, thank you.”


“If your increase is similar, or your decrease is similar to the range that was identified, then your taxes should be similar to last year with the exception of an inflationary increase which each year council will put on.” said Crosman.


“Municipalities adjust the way the effect of assessment change on the overall level and if overall assessments go down a bit, then the tax rates are changed so that people pay the same from year to year, and as you alluded to, the only exception would be if somebody changes at a great deal different then the standard amount, and so if yours was changing at an amount quite differently, then the normal range, you might want to ask BC Assessment for a little bit more information on that and why that was just to make sure that its accurate.”


“I think that all the people in our community feel that, as a city, if all the assessments went up, it would somehow be a windfall to this city and we’d be able to put our taxes way up there and get a whole bunch of money from them, but that’s not the way it works,” responded Gaetz.


Councillor Lum asked how the assessed values stack up against other municipalities, relative to percentage change.


“What we have to look at are a couple of things, the market value, what we have seen in the Chilliwack area and also in the Abbotsford area, going east, we are pretty well looking at a stable market right through,” explained Neufeldt and adding that it was consistent right through January/February.


“You have the Asian market that is really playing a part in there and we’re seeing double-digit increases there and that’s just based upon what I’ve seen and read in the paper.”


Appeal deadline is January 31, 2012 and can be initiated by calling 1-800-393-1332 or via e-mail here.


For general information visit: or visit the City of Chilliwack's website at:



© Copyright (c) 2011 The Valley Voice