Finding info about tax assessments

Norm Van Eeden Petersman

"Norm, you mentioned looking up tax assessments and doing the math on our downtown vs outlying areas. Is there a good "how-to" resource for doing this? I looked on our town website and couldn't find actual numbers for commercial property taxes. Would love to look at a few of our downtown businesses vs the strip mall big boxes to show how they compare per acre."

This article by Daniel Herriges has quite a few suggestions about how to find that info. 
 
If you know any realtors, they usually have access to all this information (lot size in acres and property taxes paid) or you can sometimes use Zillow to check this out for residential properties.
 
Commercial properties can be buried a bit - depending on the way that tax assessments are done in your area. My provincial assessment authority has a public database where I can look up the property tax assessment by address, roll #, or by selecting a property on a map. That's really helpful. If you are a property owner, you can take a look at your own tax assessment, it might tell you where you can go to look for information on other properties. 
 
My city also publishes some details. When I wrote this article (https://onthefenceinladner.ca/hiding-in-plain-sight-localz-cafe-pays-7x-more-property-tax-than-mcdonalds/development-patterns/) about a coffee shop paying a lot more tax than a nearby McDonalds in my community, I relied on three sources: 1) A realtor's free map of residential and commercial properties that listed the size of each property in acres; 2) the BC Assessment Authority's property lookup tool, and 3) the City of Delta's public property information tool. 
 
Readers: if you have other tips about how this process works where you live, please share in the comments below!

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