2019 Property Assessments and Property Taxes
In January, property assessment notices are mailed annually to property owners throughout the province from BC Assessment, an independent agency created by the Provincial Government for the purpose of valuing all properties in BC for taxation purposes. Your assessment notice estimates the market value of your property as of July 1 of the previous year.
An increase in your property assessment does not mean your taxes will automatically go up by the same amount. If all property values increase by the same amount, taxes on individual properties will not change.
Assessment is simply a distribution mechanism. Your assessment indicates the estimated value of your property. The property tax rate, which is based on budget requirements, is what determines how much your taxes will be. The tax rate is set by City Council each year.
How much have 2019 property assessments increased in the City of Duncan?
Total property assessment in the City of Duncan has increased by $75 million or approximately 10%. The average value of a home in the City of Duncan has increased from $316,788 to $356,721, an increase of 13%.
If my property assessment increased, will my tax bill go up too?
Properties that change in value by the same percentage up or down as the average property will experience a tax increase at the same rate as the overall tax increase set by City Council. Properties that increase or decrease in value by more or less than the average will experience changes in their taxes that are more or less than the average increase.
Is a property tax increase proposed for 2019?
For 2019, Council has worked hard to ensure that any tax increase remains affordable while providing the level of service that meets the needs of taxpayers. Council has completed the budget process with a tax increase of 2.9%.
Due to the differences in assessment increases between property classes, the 2.90% increase in taxes collected equates differently depending on the type of property a person owned, and how much the property value increased over other properties. The City has attempted to balance the increase between residential and business property classes, resulting in an increase of $45 (3.5%) for the average home valued at $356,721 and an increase of $189 (3.5%) for the average business valued at $547,146.
How does the City of Duncan decide how much property taxes to collect?
After the annual budget is adopted by Council for the current year, Council passes a Tax Rate Bylaw. This Bylaw sets a tax rate for each property class as defined on the BC Assessment Roll. The total levy must be sufficient to raise revenue to pay all debts and obligations of the City falling due within the year. The tax rate applies to each $1,000 of taxable value of land and improvements.
Does the City of Duncan collect taxes for other governments too?
The City of Duncan is not the only authority that taxes properties in the City. Other governments that charge tax on your property tax bill are:
- Province of BC – School Tax & Police Tax
- Cowichan Valley Regional District
- Regional Hospital District
- BC Assessment Authority
- Municipal Finance Authority
The City of Duncan has no or little control over these other taxing jurisdictions’ levies. However, to reduce the administrative cost of billing and collecting these other property taxes, the City of Duncan includes these levies on the tax notice sent to property owners each year.
What are the next steps?
City Council will consider adoption of the City’s Financial Plan and Tax Rate bylaws. Once the property tax rates have been approved by Council, property tax notices will be prepared in May. Notices will be in your mailbox after the Victoria Day long weekend in May. The due date is the first business day in July.
Who do I contact if I have questions?
If you disagree with your assessment, you are encouraged to call the BC Assessment Authority office first at 1-866-825-8322.
For further information about property taxes, please contact City Hall in-person at 200 Craig Street, by phone (250-746-6126) or by email (email@example.com).