City of Vancouver Land Averaging 2020

Should an assessed value be challenged if a property qualifies for land averaging in the City of Vancouver?

Land averaging reduces the taxable value of a property below its assessed value. Without land averaging, your taxable value (the amount the tax rate is applied to) will equal the assessed value. Land Averaging applies if, your current year assessment over the previous years taxable value, is more than the threshold, which is set annually by the City of Vancouver.

The threshold is 10% plus the average increase in total assessments for each of the classes: (1), (5) and (6). For 2020 (1) is 1.58663 and (5) and (6) are 13.89943.

Land averaged value is the average of the last five years land value plus building value.


The taxable value can not fall below the “minimum” taxable value even if land averaged value is less, unless the assessed value is reduced below the minimum value.

The minimum taxable value is last years taxable value times the threshold set by the city.

So, if the assessment is wrong, is it worth challenging? A challenge should be made:

  1. If the reduction will bring the assessed value below the minimum taxable value. If the proposed value is higher than the minimum value, then it is not worth challenging.
  2. If issues of principal are affected, such as building area, density of development or adjustments that will be constant for future years.
  3. If land averaged value can be lowered. This is only relevant if the averaged value is above the minimum taxable value.

Under certain circumstances, listed in the by-law, land averaging will not occur if there is a change (eg. change of classification).

Prior to making any decisions, the reader should review the City of Vancouver’s Bylaw or contact a property tax consultant.