Your home’s value went up. Why your tax bill could still go down.

A simple guide on how to see if your taxes will go up (or down) this year.

By Tyler Olsen | January 5, 2022 |8:21 am

If you are lucky enough to own a home, you learned this week how much its assessed value went up. But if you’re worried about your tax bill going up, stop. At least for a moment.

The fact that your home’s value went up does not, on its own, mean your taxes will go up. That is because there is one other number that has as large, or greater, impact on your tax bill.

No, not the city’s tax increase. That’s only really relevant over the long-term. Rather, you need to know the change in the average home value in your town. We’ve put together a simple series of graphics to help you figure out how your city’s home value change will factor into your tax bill this year. Keep reading below to get a sense of whether you’re in line for a tax increase or decrease.

• • •

Alright! Hopefully you understand property taxes a little better. Now, find the assessed value of your home (and your neighbours!) online through BC Assessment. You can sign up for a free account to get the percentage change. Or, if you have the values from this year and last year, this online calculator can help you easily calculate the percentage change. You can see your town’s average property value change in the below chart. (The story continues below it.)

 

If your home value increased more than your city’s average, you’re definitely looking at a higher tax bill. If your home value increased by a little less than the average—within 3% or so—your taxes won’t change much. And if your home value increase was significantly less than the city-wide jump, you could be in line to save hundreds of dollars. This year at least. Don’t get too comfortable: year-to-year variations can be significant, but they tend to average out over time. So one year’s big tax drop might be followed by an increase the next year as your home value catches up to those elsewhere in town. Or vice versa.

Across the valley, single-family home assessed values increased significantly more than those of townhomes. So, if you own a townhome or apartment, there is a good chance your property taxes will go down this year. If you own a house, your taxes will likely go up quite a bit.

As for your city’s tax increase? (Most have set increases between 2% and 4% this year.) Those will be largely felt in the long run, when the property value fluctuations have evened out.

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Tyler Olsen

Managing Editor at Fraser Valley Current

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