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(OPINION)BC Assessment Presentation to Abbotsford Council

Abbotsdford (from Abbotsford City Council) -There are many factors that affect property value and the taxes that owners have to pay on their property. In fact, you may have recently received your annual BC Assessment property assessment notice (typically sent to property owners in January) and wondered how the figure on your assessment was established.

To help demystify the annual property assessment process, a representative from BC Assessment came to present to City Council at our Feb. 13 meeting. The rep provided us with an update on property values in Abbotsford and took our questions about how those values are established and communicated.

BC Assessment operates as an independent, provincial Crown corporation, governed by a Board of Directors and accountable to the Government of BC. As an agency, they are responsible for calculating the assessed value of most properties (e.g. residential homes and industrial, commercial and investment properties) in BC as of July 1 each year.

The presenter shared with Council that for the 2024 assessment, 50,518 Abbotsford properties were assessed, which is an increase of 0.8% from last year, and the total value of those properties is $62.7 billion, up 1.5% from 2023. There is also $1.05 billion in new construction in our community, which is a 56% jump over last year. Collectively, our community’s residential properties were valued at $45 billion. Provincewide, total property values grew by 3%, but new construction only grew by 18%.

When broken down by property type, Abbotsford’s residential single-family properties saw a typical value change of -10% to +10%, while residential strata property values only fluctuated between -5% and +5%. Commercial and industrial properties saw their values stay the same or increase by up to 10% and 20%, respectively. You can check out BC Assessment’s full report here.

The assessments conducted by BC Assessment play a big role for us as a municipality as we use property assessments as part of our calculations to determine the tax rate required to raise the revenue needed to pay for our public services, such as:

  • police and fire protection services;
  • road maintenance and transit services;
  • parks and recreation facilities; and 
  •  current and future infrastructure.

The tax rate, which is reflected on your annual Property Tax Notice that gets sent to residents in May each year, applies to each $1,000 of net assessed value. It’s important to note that the property tax rate is different depending on the class of property that you own (e.g. residential, business, farm). A common misconception is that a significant change in your assessed value will result in a proportionately significant change in your property taxes. You can read more about how the assessed value intersects with your annual property taxes on the BC Assessment webpage.

As your Council, and as residents of Abbotsford, affordability is important to each of us. We know that living in the Fraser Valley is expensive, which is why we work with staff to find a reasonable property tax rate each year that both ensures public services can be provided and recognizes the financial pressures residents and businesses are under. We want to do everything we can as a municipality to ensure that Abbotsford residents and people who want to be Abbotsford residents can find an affordable place to live and raise a family in our growing community.

2024 City of Abbotsford – BC Assessment gave a presentation to City Council on Feb. 13.

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