Farm Property Inspections
Why does an appraiser need to visit my property?
BC Assessment appraisers conduct farm inspections to ensure that the condition and use of the property is accurately reflected on the Assessment Notice that is mailed each December 31 to property owners.
BC Assessment has a mandate to correctly classify property. Under the Classification of Land as a Farm Regulation, B.C. Reg. 411/95, land can qualify for farm classification if it is used for a qualifying agricultural use and necessary to the farm, and in some limited circumstances, when it is unused. When part of a property does not qualify for farm class, classification may be split among the different land uses.
When an owner applies for farm classification, it is necessary to conduct an inspection to determine whether all or part of the property is used for a qualifying agricultural use. It is also necessary to determine whether any buildings present on the property are used for farm purposes.
In the case of property already classified as a farm, BC Assessment periodically reviews the use of the property to ensure that it continues to qualify for farm classification.
Does BC Assessment have the authority to do this?
Yes. Our staff members are authorized to enter land or premises and examine property and records in accordance with their duties under the Assessment Act.
For your protection, we recommend that you ask to see the appraiser’s BC Assessment picture identification and a business card, if the appraiser has not already provided that information to you.
How are inspections conducted?
BC Assessment does not schedule inspections in advance because it is much more efficient to go door-to-door than to crisscross an area to keep appointments.
Whenever possible, it is very helpful for the property owner or farmer to accompany the appraiser during an inspection to answer questions about the farming operation.
Where feasible, BC Assessment will provide information through the media or appropriate websites to let people know if an inspection program is being undertaken in a particular area.
Will my assessment change as a result of a farm inspection?
The objective of a farm property inspection is to ensure that the property tax benefits of farm classification apply only to land used for farming. If all or part of your property is no longer being used for farming, that land will be reclassified.
How could this impact my property taxes?
Typically, the loss of farm classification results in a significant property tax increase.
Disclaimer: Where information presented is different from legislation, legislation shall prevail.