UBC Theses and Dissertations

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UBC Theses and Dissertations

An analysis of the real property assessments and taxes in British Columbia Tomko, Wayne Leslie


The Real Property Tax requires a major outlay of funds by most property and non-property owners. Property owners are directly affected by the tax, in that they pay the taxes to the taxing authorities, while the non-property owners are indirectly affected as the property tax paid by the owners is reflected in the rents which the non-property owners pay. Because of the magnitude of the property tax as a proportion of the property owners net income or disposable income, the individuals right or obligation of an equal portion of the tax burden should be upheld. The portion of the total tax burden for which a property taxpayer is responsible, is determined by the "actual value" of his real property, subject to legislative exemptions and reliefs. To ascertain the degree of the equality of the tax burden a sample of 1632 properties was obtained consisting of seven different land uses from eight-municipalities located within the Greater Vancouver area. For each property in the sample the adjusted selling price, assessed value of land and improvements for municipal and school purposes, and the net taxes payable were obtained. To furnish the reader with some insight as to the causes of possible tax inequalities between municipalities, land uses, or price categories within municipalities, calculations measuring the degree of assessment uniformity and equality were executed. The findings of this thesis give evidence that the tax burden between municipalities, land uses and price categories within municipalities are not equally distributed as the concept of equality was defined. Further, it was discovered that these inequalities were, in part, due to the occurrance of unacceptable levels of assessment inequality and ununiformity.

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