By: Korie Marshall
With the help of improved technology, BC Assessment did a mass review this year to verify Agricultural Land Reserve status and property tax exemption coding, in time for the 2015 property assessment roll.
The reassessment project looked at all properties over two acres in the province – about 62,000 properties in the Agricultural Land Reserve. A news release from BC Assessment says that improvements in Geographic Information Systems (GIS) spatial technology allowed them to compare property boundaries in their system with the ALR boundaries. Previously, the comparison had to be done by hand using paper maps provided by the Agricultural Land Commission. In some instances, says the release, the paper maps were not current, and did not reflect the prevailing ALR boundaries.
The review identified areas across the province where boundaries for the ALR and BC Assessment were not aligned. Correcting the boundaries has resulted in a change of property status (ALR coding) and tax exemption coding for a number of properties. The changes will be effective for the 2015 assessment roll.
Properties within the ALR are restricted by sections of the Agricultural Land Commission Act. They are restricted to farm and residential use, and cannot be subdivided without the consent of the Agricultural Land Commission. A tax exemption for owners of property within the ALR means they are exempted from half of the school taxes applied to the assessed value of the land.
BC Assessment says it regularly conducts audits, reviews, and market analysis to ensure that assessments are accurate, fair and equitable, as part of its quality assurance commitment to its customers. More information about BC Assessment is available at: www.bcassessment.ca