Commercial real estate assessments could stump the development of small businesses

By zaymalz malz

Property tax bills are likely to hurt a number of small Canadian businesses located in the lower mainland due to the growing number of assessment increases.

Statistics from the BC Assessment Authority have shown that typical commercial properties have seen an assessment jump from 15% to 30% in Metro Vancouver and rises of between 10% to 35% in Fraser Valley in 2017, with the lower mainland comprising of the two regions.

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Assessment increases are set in line with rises in the value of real estate in the lower mainland, however, this may be a significant threat to many small businesses in the region.

“It’s disastrous. It’s an ugly spiral going on,” said Dave Jackson, manager of a Richmond mall that has seen business costs rise from $5.1mn to $7.5mn, speaking to the Vancouver Sun.

“[The Lower Mainland] is becoming a playground for the super-rich, and the way it’s going you won’t be able to buy a coffee here. These small shops can’t afford to stay.”

The new costs are likely to force many small businesses to rezone and could even endanger their existences, unable to afford the rising prices.

The rising taxation in the Richmond area comes in the wake of foreign property taxation in the Metro Vancouver region, also as a result of the high property demand and rising prices of real estate, largely in Vancouver.

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