Every year, thousands of property owners disagree with the assessed value of their home and launch an appeal. But if this year follows the results of the past, fewer people will complain.
In 2012, 12,823 formal appeal letters were submitted, down by 25 per cent from 2011, according to B.C. Assessment.
Along with online information provided by B.C. Assessment, property owners are encouraged to contact their local assessment office if they have a question. A total of 39,084 inquiries came into the 16 Assessment offices in B.C. in January 2012, down by eight per cent from the previous year.
Overall, most property owners are satisfied with their assessments. Fewer than one per cent appealed last year, the agency said.
For those with questions, B.C. Assessment recommends owners first compare their property with others in the area. This can be done by checking e-valueBC on the web at www.bcassessment.ca.
Owners can contact B.C. Assessment appraisers to discuss how their property’s value was determined. If the owner and appraiser agree there was an error, the assessment can be altered, thus avoiding an independent review.
If you decide to go ahead with an appeal, a complaint must be filed by the end of day on Jan. 31. The notice of complaint must include your reason for seeking a review. The complaint form is available on the agency’s website. Notices can be mailed, faxed, hand delivered or emailed to the local office.
Property assessment review panel hearings follow. Owners who are appealing will receive a notice of the hearing, telling them the day and place. They must then call their local office to arrange for a specific time.
To make your case, collect information supporting your position that the assessment notice is inaccurate. Owners typically have five minutes to make a presentation. Hearings normally last about 30 minutes.
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