Thousands of Abbotsford property owners warned of rising assessments

More than 5,500 Abbotsford property owners will receive a letter warning about sharp increases in their assessments

Thousands of Abbotsford property owners will be receiving letters warning of above-average increases in the assessed value of their homes.

More than 5,500 Abbotsford property owners will receive a letter warning about a sharp increase in the assessed value of their land and buildings.

Brian Smith, a deputy assessor with BC Assessment, said around 5,600 property owners – or around 12 per cent of all Abbotsford property owners – will be receiving a letter notifying recipients that their assessments rose significantly more than others in the area.

Last year, fewer than one per cent of Abbotsford property owners received a letter.

A higher assessed value doesn’t automatically mean one’s property taxes will increase. Because municipalities levy taxes with a revenue target in mind, the tax rate is flexible.

That means that a home with an assessed value that increases more than average will see a tax hike, but those whose assessed values increased less than average could end up paying less in taxes.

The City of Abbotsford has budgeted for a 2.13 per cent residential tax hike in 2017. That means that taxes on a home with an increase in value matching the city average would rise by that amount next year.

In a recent news release, BC Assessment says assessment “increases of 30 per cent to 50 per cent will be typical for single-family homes in Vancouver, North Shore, Squamish, Burnaby, Tri-Cities, Richmond and Surrey.”

Although Abbotsford is not included in the analysis, home prices in the city have increased at similar rates over the past year.

Homes are assessed as of July 1, 2016.