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Understanding the assessment process

Understanding the assessment process


BC Assessment is responsible for assessing over 2 million properties in British Columbia as of July 1 each year. 

The assessment process in British Columbia is governed by the Assessment Act of British Columbia. The Assessment Act is legislation that provides rules and processes for BC Assessment to follow when creating and delivering property assessments.

The Assessment Process (Three Steps)

1. Information is collected and analyzed by BC Assessment appraisers for all properties in the province of British Columbia. 
(Most often this information collection occurs when properties are created/constructed, but can also occur at other times like when properties are renovated.)
2. Property sales are analyzed by BC Assessment appraisers to understand the property market as at July 1st of each year. This new market information is used to set the new assessments.
3. Assessment notices are created and mailed to all property owners on December 31 each year. 

Key Dates

January 31 – Property Assessment Review Panel Deadline 
People wishing to request an independent review of their assessment must file 
their written notice of complaint with the assessor by this date. 

July 1 – Valuation Date 
The date actual (market) value of properties is determined for the purpose 
of assessment rolls. 

October 31 – Physical Condition and Permitted Use 
The assessment reflects the physical condition and permitted use (zoning) of 
property as of this date, except where substantial damage or destruction of the
buildings occurs

December 31 – Assessment Notices
Completed assessment information produced and mailed to property owners. Assessment information and value totals delivered to tax authorities and are available online. 

Every year there are four key dates for the assessment process. 

January 31 – Property Assessment Review Panel Deadline 
People wishing to request an independent review of their assessment must file 
their written notice of complaint with the assessor by this date. 

July 1 – Valuation Date 
The date actual (market) value of properties is determined for the purpose 
of assessment rolls. 

October 31 – Physical Condition and Permitted Use 
The assessment reflects the physical condition and permitted use (zoning) of 
property as of this date, except where substantial damage or destruction of the
buildings occurs

December 31 – Assessment Notices
Completed assessment information produced and mailed to property owners. Assessment information and value totals delivered to tax authorities and are available online. 

Frequently Asked Questions

Over time, BC Assessment has collected information about each property in
British Columbia from many sources, including: the province, your city, site visits, 
and even homeowners. 

  • Building permits 
  • Land titles office
  • Real estate transactions
  • Property owner initiated updates
  • 3D modelling of Vancouver’s downtown condos to determine views
  • Requests sent to property owners 
  • A visit to the property 
  • Aerial and street-front imagery 
 

Where does BC Assessment get property information? 

Over time, BC Assessment has collected information about each property in
British Columbia from many sources, including: the province, your city, site visits, 
and even homeowners. 

  • Building permits 
  • Land titles office
  • Real estate transactions
  • Property owner initiated updates
  • Requests sent to property owners 
  • A visit to the property 
  • Aerial and street-front imagery 
 


How does BC Assessment determine property values? 


Your assessment is based on the of your property as of July 1st of the previous year. When determining the assessed value, our appraisers consider your property’s unique characteristics, including: 

Our appraisers also consider recent sales of properties with similar characteristics to your property. 
Market value assessment is widely considered the fairest system for distributing the property tax burden. 

In any tax area, properties of equal value contribute the same tax. Higher-value properties will contribute more. Assessment Search is available for you to compare your property with recent sales and assessments of similar properties in your neighbourhood. 

Learn more about how assessments influence taxes below.