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Making Sense of your Property tax

Homeowners in Vancouver began receiving their 2018 property assessment notices in the mail at the beginning of the year.

By now, everyone should have received one and have a clear idea of the assessed value of their property.

This is important because this value determines the property taxes that must be paid.

British Columbia's real estate market saw continued strong activity in 2017 and both residential and commercial property values showed growth in almost all areas.

Average detached single-family homes were stable in the greater Metro Vancouver areas of Richmond, Vancouver, the North Shore and Burnaby compared to other parts of the province.

Condos, on the other hand, saw some of the biggest changes of between 10 to 30 per cent increase in assessed value.

You can look up different property assessments on B.C. Assessment's website to search and compare different 2018 property assessments.

In order to assess the value of the property, a number of key factors such as location, size, land surface, age and condition of the building are taken into consideration.

A large increase in property assessments does not always translate into a corresponding increase in property taxes, however. It also takes into account changes relative to your community.

Property taxes help fund essential services like police, fire fighting and emergency rescue. They also support community programs, recreation centres, public libraries, parks and much more.

Advanced taxes are due on February 2 and main taxes due July 4. They can be paid in multiple ways; in person, online banking, credit card or cheque. You can set up a Property Tax Monthly Payment Plan to avoid paying them all at once.

Another option is to apply for the homeowner grant.  If eligible, this grant reduces the amount of property tax that are due. The application is online.

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