Real Property Assessment and Taxation 2017

Course Date: May 5, 2017

Total: 5h 36min

Welcome and Introduction

Simmi K. Sandhu — Chair, Property Assessment Appeal Board, Richmond

Practical Implications of Assessment: Why It Matters

  • broad framework for assessment practice
  • assessment and taxation interplay – historical perspective
  • municipal constraints in assessment and taxation
  • when should Local Government care about assessment
  • Case Study: BC Ferries – assessment practice v. taxation reality

    Reece Harding — Young Anderson, Vancouver
    John H. Shevchuk — Lex Pacifica Law Corporation, Vancouver

Questions and Discussion

Networking Break


  • is the property assessable?
  • what is an “improvement”?
  • are you the appropriately assessed party?
  • who is an “occupier”?

Cheryl L. Vickers — Lex Pacifica Law Corporation, Vancouver

Questions & Discussion


  • seeking a property class to effect a tax result
  • classifying development land – the relevance of zoning
  • classification and valuation methodology
  • equity in classification

Ludmila B. Herbst, QC — Farris Vaughan Wills & Murphy LLP, Vancouver
Nav Shukla — Farris Vaughan Wills & Murphy LLP, Vancouver

Questions & Discussion

Lunch with Featured Speaker: Ethics in Assessment Practice

David HighfieldInterim President & Chief Executive Officer, BC Assessment, Victoria


  • how does BC Assessment measure "fairness" or equity in a mass appraisal system?
  • review of measures of equity used by BC Assessment
  • review of equitable principles, including a history of how equity has evolved to the present
  • discussion of whether equitable principles can be applied to inputs in valuation or alternatively, whether it is only the total equitable value of land and improvements together that is contemplated by the current legislation

Lyle Dunn — Manager Assessment Appeals, BC Assessment Authority
Moses J. Watson —
Crease Harman LLP, Victoria

Questions and Discussion

Networking Break

Practice Issues Before the Appeal Board

A review of common practice issues and concerns faced by parties in an appeal before the Board, including: 

  • deadlines for appealing assessments
  • potential downsides of appealing assessments
  • timely and adequate issue identification
  • risk of disclosure of commercially sensitive or confidential information
  • effective marshaling of evidence before Board — the distinction between advocacy, opinion, and expert evidence before the Board
  • lack of effective appeal remedy from Board decision
  • framing questions of law for a stated case
  • Standard of Review at a stated case

James D. FraserLawson Lundell LLP, Vancouver
Simmi K. SandhuChair, Property Assessment Appeal Board, Richmond

Questions and Discussion