Do the math before paying property taxes

Taxpayers are paying too much and should double-check assessments.

If property assessments show a rise in property values, the mill rate from the previous year should be lowered or stay the same.

This is not happening. What is happening is that when property assessments go up in value, municipal governments are raising the mill rate. That is wrong and taxpayers are paying too much on their property taxes.

The property tax formula is the assessment value multiplied by the mill rate, divided by 1,000.

For example, if the tax assessment is $500,000, the calculation is $500,000 times the mill rate divided by 1,000. In 2015, if the mill rate was six, the property tax would be $3,000.  If this assessment went up to $550,000 keeping the mill rate the same as in 2015, the property tax would be $3,300.

Raising the mill rate to 6.5 would make the property tax $3,575, so in reality the  rule of thumb, is never raise the mill rate when property assessments are on the increase.

Also a rule of thumb, before paying your tax bill, check all of the assessments on the street you live on to compare your property to your neighbour’s property assessment. You will find some big surprises. This info can be found online at http://evaluebc.bcassessment.ca/, or at your local library.

Joe Sawchuk

 

 

 

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