About PacWest Commercial Real Estate Advisors
PacWest Commercial Real Estate Advisors specializes in the appeal of property taxes whether they are for property assessment notices or property transfer taxes as well as dispute resolution services for property tax allocation between landlords and tenants. Tim Down has over 28 years of real estate appraisal, assessment valuation, consulting and property assessment appeal experience. Tim’s experience includes employment with the BC Assessment Authority for 11 years as a Senior Supervisory Appraiser. He was also the Director of Property Tax Services in Western Canada with Colliers International as well as Vice President of Property Tax Services with PricewaterhouseCoopers in Vancouver.
Tim is an accredited appraiser with the Appraisal Institute of Canada holding their designation AACI, P. App. He is also the only professionally accredited assessor in British Columbia with the International Association of Assessing Officers holding their CAE designation. He is a professional member of the Real Estate Institute of BC holding their designation RI and an active member of the Canadian Property Tax Association. Tim is also a licensed Associate Broker and principal in a commercial real estate brokerage in Kelowna, BC.
Property Tax Compliance
The BC Assessment Authority routinely mails out information requests to property owners seeking confidential financial information from landlords and property managers. While compliance with property tax information requests is important, the return of this type of information may compromise a property owners future review and/or appeal success.
It is important that all property owners understand the risk of producing sensitive information without the assistance of a property tax compliance specialist.
Property Assessment in British Columbia
All property owners are taxed annually based on the assessed values as determined by the BC Assessment Authority. The BC Assessment Authority produces annual property assessments based on the market value of the real estate as at July 1st in the previous year. Property assessments are determined using standard real estate valuation approaches; direct comparison, cost and income approaches. The BC Assessment Authority also determines the physical condition, reflecting any changes after the valuation date, and the actual use(s) to apply the correct property tax classification(s) for each property as at October 31st in the previous year.
Property owners receive their annual property assessment notices in the first week of January. The property owner has until January 31st to file an appeal with the Property Assessment Review Panel. There is no fee to file an appeal to the Property Assessment Review Panel. A third party may also file an appeal against a property assessment notice. Secondary appeals must be filed with the Property Assessment Appeal Board on or before April 30th with a filing fee of $30.00 per property appeal.
The BC Assessment Authority completes approximately 2,000,000 Property Assessment Notices for delivery on December 31st with a provincial staff of around 700 personnel. Given this extreme ratio of assessment staff to properties of 1 to 2857, it is impossible for the BC Assessment Authority to inspect and value individual properties on an annual basis. All mass property assessment valuation systems are subject to human error. A successful appeal can result from a professional, comprehensive review for the following reasons:
- assessed value is above market value
- incorrect physical inventory
- incorrect property classification
- eligible exemptions were not applied
- assessed value is not fair and equitable in relation to similar, competing property assessment values
- property was under construction as at October 31st in the previous year
- historic vacancy issues
- condition of property or deferred significant maintenance
- property is contaminated or negatively impacted by hazardous materials
- incorrect land averaging calculation in the City of Vancouver