BBOT Leads Regional Chambers of Commerce and Boards of Trade to Unite in Call For Property Tax Reform

This week, the Burnaby Board of Trade and eleven other local chambers of commerce and boards of trade came together to issue a joint call for the provincial government to act to reform the property tax system and stop some businesses facing soaring property taxes because of the redevelopment potential of their properties.

Businesses across Burnaby and the region can face unsustainable property tax bills because of the BC Assessment process which values a property’s “highest and best use”, not what it is actually used for.  This means businesses are paying property taxes today on the redevelopment potential of a property — the future condos and towers that could be built — instead of on what the property or business currently is.  This has threatened the viability of some businesses, especially in transit corridors or near other major redevelopments.

The Burnaby Board of Trade has been a leading voice in advocating for significant reforms to this process, and is endorsing a proposed solution to achieve split assessments through a new property sub-class.  This proposal will allow cities to separate the current use of a property from its highest and best use, and implement a much lower tax rate for the portion of a property’s value based on redevelopment potential.  This will smooth out the taxes paid by all businesses and prevent some from facing drastic increases.

The Burnaby Board of Trade and our eleven chamber/board counterparts from across the region are calling on the provincial government to act now to address this issue so that changes can be implemented in time for next year’s property tax bills.

Read the joint letter to Minister Selina Robinson below or by clicking here.  And let us know your thoughts on this issue by emailing our Director of Policy & Stakeholder Relations Cory Redekop at