Property values in Abbotsford increased on average by more than 32 per cent in just one year, according to BC Assessment, which released its annual figures across the province on Tuesday.
Such an increase means an average home, assessed at $420,000 last year, is now valued at $554,400.
All homeowners pay the same property tax rate, meaning those whose home values increased by more than the city’s average will see an increase in their tax bill, while those whose properties increased below the average rate (or decreased) are likely to see their bill shrink.
The City of Abbotsford, like all B.C. municipalities, sets a property tax rate based on the revenue that it projects it requires.
Months ago, city council determined tax revenue must increase by 2.13 per cent this year to cover inflation, infrastructure projects and the hiring of more police officers. The increase means a homeowner with a property valued at $529,000 will pay approximately $64 more in property taxes this year over last.
A sample of properties around Abbotsford shows that central areas of Abbotsford saw some of the most dramatic year-over-year increases in assessed values.
Many homes in the city’s urban core saw assessment hikes exceeding 50 per cent, with the value of many homes assessed between $300,000 to $400,000 increasing by around $200,000.
Many other areas also saw six-digit increases in assessed values. A sampling of homes through Assessment BC’s online tool (evaluebc.bcassessment.ca) suggests the McMillan area in the lower reaches of Sumas Mountain saw values rise between 30 and 40 per cent, as did areas of west Abbotsford.
BC Assessment has already sent warning letters to thousands of Abbotsford homeowners who will be seeing values increase beyond the local average, triggering higher property taxes. Around 12 per cent of all Abbotsford property owners – 5,600 owners in total – received such a letter.
Elsewhere in the Fraser Valley, both Langley and Maple Ridge saw increases of more than 35 per cent.
In Mission, property values increased by 33 per cent and in Chilliwack by 27 per cent.
– with files from Kelvin Gawley