Is your 2010 tax assessment correct?

Homeowner advocate and local Realtor, John Grasty, offers Tri-City area homeowners (and buyers) relevant property information, including comparable sales data and the most up to date and accurate picture of activity and trends for a particular market.

“This is simply neighbourhood intelligence; an added-value service with no strings attached,” says Grasty.

“Homeowners have better choices by staying abreast of their own market, including a chance to respond to changes that are likely to affect the real estate market in their area,” and Grasty adds, “Knowing on an ongoing basis if prices have decreased (or increased) in a neighbourhood could help buyers determine how much to offer, or even help homeowners to decide if a property tax appeal makes sense.”

Most residential properties have appreciated in the past year and many of those being sold are selling above the 2009 tax assessed value.

The BC assessment of properties will normally reflect market values effective July 1 of the preceding year.  Each year, more than 98% of BC’s 1.8 million property owners accept their assessment as provided by BC Assessment and do not file a formal complaint (appeal).

It is important for all property owners to determine if the assessment value represents a fair estimate of a property’s market value on July 1st of 2009.  Market value is the value at which your property could potentially have sold for on July 1 last year, given a willing buyer and a willing seller.

Property owners can obtain sales information from BC Assessment, Realtors, and the local Multiple Listing Service.  Tri-City property owners are serviced by the North Fraser area office of BC Assessment.

BC Assessment’s website ( contains a link to e-valueBC which enables property owners to compare their assessment and any applicable sales to other homes in their area.

If you think your property is assessed too high, then you need to acquire the relevant property assessment or sales information that supports this position.  All rights to appeal will remain unchanged when receiving 2010 tax assessment notices in early January. This request must be delivered in writing to BC Assessment no later than 11:59 p.m. PST on January 31.

If you have a recent property appraisal available to you, then you can include it as part of your evidence. If you do not have an independent appraisal, you may choose to obtain one; be aware however that independent appraisals can start at $250 and may not be essential to your case.

BC Assessment identifies ownership and tax liability for all properties, classifies their use and estimates their actual values. More than 1.88 million properties in BC were valued for the 2010 Assessment Roll with a combined taxable value of $841 billion.

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