The 2018 British Columbia assessment roll has been published and all property owners should expect to receive their assessment notices in the mail by mid-January. If you have not received your commercial property tax assessment notice by mid-January, or if you have any questions, please contact Altus Group’s Property Tax Consulting team and we would be happy to assist you.

The 2018 assessed values are retrospective values. They are based on the property’s market value as of July 1, 2017 and the physical condition as of October 31, 2017.

The deadline to file a formal appeal is Wednesday, January 31, 2018.

The 2018 assessment roll reflects a steady and stable increase in commercial and residential values across the Lower Mainland. The table below shows the average annual change for Class 5 (Light Industrial & Transportation) and Class 6 (Business & Other) commercial properties.

Please note, if your property’s assessment has increased more than the average change, then you are likely to receive an increase in taxes owed year over year.

City of Vancouver Proposals – Split Tax Bills & Rent Control

The City of Vancouver has published an exploratory report that proposes to help reduce the property taxes for retailers and commercial tenants that have been hit with significant increases in taxes over the last several years.

The Issue

Assessed values have been driven up by rapidly rising land values for redevelopment land. However, commercial tenants have no development rights and do not benefit from this redevelopment value. Only the owner of the property benefits. Yet, under the terms of the lease, commercial tenants are nearly often always responsible for 100% of the property taxes.

The Proposal

The City of Vancouver has explored the possibility of working with BC Assessment to issue two tax bills – once for the tenant and one for the owner.

  • The Retailer/Tenant tax bill – valued ‘as a going concern’ and based on the market rental value of the commercial space
  • The Owner Tax Bill – valued on the redevelopment value of the land.

 

Amendments to Provincial Legislation

To ensure that the shortfall to the landlord will not simply be passed back onto the tenants under rental reviews, commercial rent controls may be required. Accordingly, the City is seeking to request the Province to introduce commercial rent controls through amending Provincial Legislation.

What Next?

The proposal was due to be discussed at the November 28th Council meeting but has since been withdrawn following initial feedback from stakeholders. Subsequently, numerous meeting have occurred between stakeholders and City Staff.  Although no agreement has been finalized, parties have continued dialogue in an effort to find a meaningful solution to this serious issue.

As we enter into 2018, Altus Group will continue to monitor this proposal and will keep our clients informed.

How We Can Help Your Business

As the largest property tax agency in Canada, the Altus Group Property Tax team is pleased to be reviewing the 2018 assessments on behalf of our clients.

We will:

  • Review the accuracy of the assessments to ensure there are no factual errors;
  • Review the market value of the assessments by analyzing the local market dynamics;
  • Review the equity and fairness of the assessments to ensure that it is being assessed uniformly and is in line with comparable properties;
  • Review the classification of the assessments to ensure that the appropriate tax rate class is applied;
  • Provide recommendations for the merits of filing an appeal for each assessment; and,
  • File appeals on your behalf and undertake all appeal management duties.

For more information and to discuss your assessments, please contact us below:

Phil Gertsman, MBA, B.Com, AACI, RI(BC)

Executive Vice President, Western Canada
Property Tax, Altus Group Limited

D: 778.329.9293

E: phil.gertsman@altusgroup.com

 

Ed Furlan, B.Mgmt, AACI, P.App, RI

Senior Director
Property Tax, Altus Group Limited

 

D: 778.329.9240

E: ed.furlan@altusgroup.com

 

Jim Davis, B.Com, RI(BC)

Senior Director
Property Tax, Altus Group Limited

 

D: 778.329.9299

E: jim.davis@altusgroup.com

 

David Howard, B.A., AACI, P.App

Director
Property Tax, Altus Group Limited

 

D: 778.329.9252

E: david.howard@altusgroup.com

 

Sandy Sohal, B.A., Dipl. T

Client Account Manager
Property Tax, Altus Group Limited

 

D: 778.329.9283

E: sandy.sohal@altusgroup.com